WorldWideScience

Sample records for binary near-earth asteroid

  1. The Cool Surfaces of Binaries Near-Earth Asteroids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbo, Marco; Walsh, K.; Mueller, M.

    2008-01-01

    We present results from thermal-infrared observations of binary near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). These objects, in general, have surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. The comparison of

  2. The cool surfaces of binary near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbo, Marco; Walsh, Kevin; Mueller, Michael; Harris, Alan W.; Howell, Ellen S.

    2011-03-01

    Here we show results from thermal-infrared observations of km-sized binary near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). We combine previously published thermal properties for NEAs with newly derived values for three binary NEAs. The η value derived from the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) for each object is then used to estimate an average thermal inertia for the population of binary NEAs and compared against similar estimates for the population of non-binaries. We find that these objects have, in general, surface temperatures cooler than the average values for non-binary NEAs as suggested by elevated η values. We discuss how this may be evidence of higher-than-average surface thermal inertia. This latter physical parameter is a sensitive indicator of the presence or absence of regolith: bodies covered with fine regolith, such as the Earth’s moon, have low thermal inertia, whereas a surface with little or no regolith displays high thermal inertia. Our results are suggestive of a binary formation mechanism capable of altering surface properties, possibly removing regolith: an obvious candidate is the YORP effect. We present also newly determined sizes and geometric visible albedos derived from thermal-infrared observations of three binary NEAs: (5381) Sekhmet, (153591) 2001 SN263, and (164121) 2003 YT1. The diameters of these asteroids are 1.41 ± 0.21 km, 1.56 ± 0.31 km, and 2.63 ± 0.40 km, respectively. Their albedos are 0.23 ± 0.13, 0.24 ± 0.16, and 0.048 ± 0.015, respectively.

  3. Compositional Investigation of Binary Near-Earth Asteroid 66063 (1998 RO1): A Potentially Undifferentiated Assemblage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Gaffey, M. J.; Landis, R. R.; Jarvis, K. S.

    2005-01-01

    It is now thought that approximately 16% of all asteroids among the near-Earth population may be binary objects. Several independent lines of evidence, such as the presence of doublet craters on the Earth and Moon [1, 2], complex lightcurves of near-Earth objects exhibiting mutual events [3], and radar images of near-Earth asteroids revealing distinct primary and secondary objects, have supported this conclusion [4]. To date at least 23 near-Earth objects have been discovered as binary systems with expectations that many more have yet to be identified or recognized. Little is known about the physical characteristics of binary objects except that they seem to have fairly rapid rotation rates, generally have primaries in the approx. 1 km diameter range with smaller secondaries on the order of a few hundred meters, and apart from a few exceptions, are in synchronous orbits [4, 5]. Previously only two of these binary near-Earth asteroids (1998 ST27 and 2003 YT1) have been characterized in terms of detailed mineralogical investigations [6, 7]. Such investigations are required to fully understand the formation mechanisms of these binary objects and their possible source regions. In addition, detailed knowledge of these objects may play an important role for planning future spacecraft missions and for the development of impact mitigation strategies. The work presented here represents a continued effort to characterize this particular sub-group of the near- Earth asteroid population.

  4. Near Earth Asteroid Scout

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout, is a 6U CubeSat developed jointly between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA...

  5. Thermophysical Modeling of Contact Binary Near-Earth Asteroid 1996 HW1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magri, C.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C.; Taylor, P. A.; Fernández, Y. R.; Mueller, M.; Rivkin, A. S.; Vervack, R. J., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (8567) 1996 HW1 was observed spectroscopically at 1.9-4.0 microns during August- October 2008 using the SpeX instrument at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). These spectra are being modeled using a new thermophysical program that accounts for the object's spin orientation

  6. Radar Imaging of Binary Near-Earth Asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ostro, S. J.; Margot, J. L.; Benner, L. A. M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Scheeres, D.J.; Fahnestock, E.G.; Broschart, S.B.; Bellerose, J.; Nolan, M. C.; Magri, C.; Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Rose, R.; Jurgens, R. F.; De Jong, E. M.; Suzuki, S.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 314, č. 5803 (2006), s. 1276-1280 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : binary asteroid * radar imaging Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 30.028, year: 2006

  7. Dynamical Configuration of Binary Near-Earth Asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Scheeres, D.J.; Fahnestock, E.G.; Ostro, S. J.; Margot, J. L.; Benner, L. A. M.; Broschart, S.B.; Bellerose, J.; Giorgini, J. D.; Nolan, M. C.; Magri, C.; Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Rose, R.; Jurgens, R. F.; De Jong, E. M.; Suzuki, S.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 314, č. 5803 (2006), s. 1280-1283 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : binary asteroid * dynamics Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 30.028, year: 2006

  8. Spitzer/IRS Observations Of Multiple Main-Belt And Binary Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, J. Emilio; Marchis, F.; Emery, J. P.; Im, S.

    2010-10-01

    Since the discovery of Ida's companion in 1993, 195 companions of asteroids have been discovered. To understand the formation process of these interesting bodies, their physical properties such as their bulk density, size, shape, and surface roughness need to be determined. During the Spitzer Cycle-4, we obtained IRS thermal emission spectra (5-42 um) of 23 known binary systems. The majority of asteroids are from the main-belt (16), while the rest are NEOs (7). After extracting the thermal spectra, we used a modified Standard Thermal Model (STM) to calculate their equivalent diameter (from 0.8 km to 237 km), their albedo (from 0.04 for C-type to 0.394 for a V-type) and their beaming factor related to the surface roughness and thermal inertia. We derive their emissivity spectra, which is useful to detect silicate features. Combining these measurements with 3D-models of these multiple asteroid systems obtained by lightcurve inversion, we should be able to derive an accurate estimate of their bulk-density and contrast them with their taxonomic classes. Preliminary studies by Marchis et al. (2008)1, suggested a relationship between bulk density and the taxonomic class of asteroids, which varies from 0.9 g/cc for C-complex to 2.4 g/cc for S-complex asteroids. The National Science Foundation supported this research under award number AAG-0807468. It was conducted with the Spitzer space telescope, which is operated by JPL under a contract with NASA. 1 Marchis et al. , 2008, "Mid-infrared Spectra of Binary Asteroids With Spitzer/IRS", 40th DPS Meeting, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 40, 508

  9. Near-Earth Asteroid 2005 CR37: Radar Images and Photometry of a Candidate Contact Binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benner, Lance A. M.; Nolan, Michael C.; Ostro, Steven J.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Pray, Donald P.; Harris, Alan W.; Magri, Christopher; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2006-01-01

    Arecibo (2380 MHz, 13 cm) radar observations of 2005 CR37 provide detailed images of a candidate contact binary: a 1.8-km-long, extremely bifurcated object. Although the asteroid's two lobes are round, there are regions of modest topographic relief, such as an elevated, 200-m-wide facet, that suggest that the lobes are geologically more complex than either coherent fragments or homogeneous rubble piles. Since January 1999, about 9% of NEAs larger than approx.200 m imaged by radar can be described as candidate contact binaries.

  10. Radar and photometric observations and shape modeling of contact binary near-Earth Asteroid 1996 HW1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magri, Christopher; Howell, Ellen S.; Nolan, Michael C.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Fernández, Yanga R.; Mueller, Michael; Vervack, Ronald J.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Ostro, Steven J.; Scheeres, Daniel J.; Hicks, Michael D.; Rhoades, Heath; Somers, James M.; Gaftonyuk, Ninel M.; Kouprianov, Vladimir V.; Krugly, Yurij N.; Molotov, Igor E.; Busch, Michael W.; Margot, Jean-Luc; Benishek, Vladimir; Protitch-Benishek, Vojislava; Galád, Adrian; Higgins, David; Kušnirák, Peter; Pray, Donald P.

    2011-01-01

    We observed near-Earth Asteroid (8567) 1996 HW1 at the Arecibo Observatory on six dates in September 2008, obtaining radar images and spectra. By combining these data with an extensive set of new lightcurves taken during 2008-2009 and with previously published lightcurves from 2005, we were able to

  11. The binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG(3) - An observational constraint on its orbital evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Scheirich, Peter; Pravec, Petr; Jacobson, S.A.; Ďurech, J.; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Mottola, S.; Mommert, M.; Hellmich, S.; Pray, D. P.; Polishook, D.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Inasaridze, R.Ya.; Kvaratskhelia, O.I.; Ayvazian, V.; Slyusarev, I.; Pittichova, J.; Jehin, E.; Manfroid, J.; Gillon, M.; Galád, A.; Pollock, J.; Licandro, J.; Ali-Lagoa, V.; Brinsfield, J.; Molotov, I.E.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 245, January (2015), s. 56-63 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107; GA ČR GAP209/12/0229 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids * dynamics * near-Earth object Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.383, year: 2015

  12. Spectroscopy of near-Earth asteroids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michelsen, René; Nathues, Andreas; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    2006-01-01

    We present spectra and taxonomic classifications of 12 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and 2 inner Main Belt asteroids. The observations were carried out with the ESO 3.5 m NTT and the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla, Chile. Eleven of the investigated NEAs belong to the S class while only one C-t...

  13. Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous: mission overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Santo, A. G.; Heeres, K. J.; Landshof, J. A.; Farquhar, R. W.; Gold, R. E.; Lee, S. C.

    1997-10-01

    The Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the first launch of NASA's Discovery Program, will be the first mission to orbit an asteroid. NEAR will make the first comprehensive scientific measurements of an asteroid's surface composition, geology, physical properties, and internal structure. NEAR launched successfully on February 17, 1996, aboard a Delta II-7925. It will orbit the 20-km-diameter near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros for about 1 year, at a minimum orbit radius of about 35 km from the center of the asteroid. The NEAR is a solar-powered, three-axis stabilized spacecraft with a launch mass including propellant of 805 kg. NEAR uses X band telemetry to the NASA Deep Space Network, with the data rates at Eros up to 8.8 kbits/s using a 34-m High Efficiency (HEF) dish, and up to 26.5 kbits/s using a 70-m dish. A solid-state recorder is accommodated with a memory capacity of 1.8 Gbytes. Attitude control is to 1.7 mrad, line-of-sight pointing stability is within 50 μrad over 1 s, and post processing attitude knowledge is within 50 μrad. NEAR accommodates 56 kg of instruments and provides them with 84 W. The instruments are a multispectral imager (MSI), a near-infrared spectrograph (NIS), an X ray/gamma ray spectrometer (XRS/GRS), a magnetometer (MAG), and a laser rangefinder (NLR), while a radio science (RS) investigation uses the coherent X band transponder. NEAR will make a flyby of the C-type asteroid 253 Mathilde in June 1997 and will rendezvous with 433 Eros in February 1999. It will execute an initial slow flyby of Eros, with a flyby speed of 5 m/s and a closest approach distance of 500 km. Subsequently, its orbit will be lowered to 35 km. The NEAR Mission Operations Center and the Science Data Center are at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The Science Data Center will maintain the entire NEAR data set on-line, and data from all instruments can be accessed by every member of the NEAR Science Team. Data, including images, are released over

  14. Capturing near-Earth asteroids around Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasnain, Zaki; Lamb, Christopher A.; Ross, Shane D.

    2012-12-01

    The list of detected near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is constantly growing. NEAs are likely targets for resources to support space industrialization, as they may be the least expensive source of certain needed raw materials. The limited supply of precious metals and semiconducting elements on Earth may be supplemented or even replaced by the reserves floating in the form of asteroids around the solar system. Precious metals make up a significant fraction NEAs by mass, and even one metallic asteroid of ˜1km size and fair enrichment in platinum-group metals would contain twice the tonnage of such metals already harvested on Earth. There are ˜1000 NEAs with a diameter of greater than 1 km. Capturing these asteroids around the Earth would expand the mining industry into an entirely new dimension. Having such resources within easy reach in Earth's orbit could provide an off-world environmentally friendly remedy for impending terrestrial shortages, especially given the need for raw materials in developing nations. In this paper, we develop and implement a conceptually simple algorithm to determine trajectory characteristics necessary to move NEAs into capture orbits around the Earth. Altered trajectories of asteroids are calculated using an ephemeris model. Only asteroids of eccentricity less than 0.1 have been studied and the model is restricted to the ecliptic plane for simplicity. We constrain the time of retrieval to be 10 years or less, based on considerations of the time to return on investment. For the heliocentric phase, constant acceleration is assumed. The acceleration required for transporting these asteroids from their undisturbed orbits to the sphere of influence of the Earth is the primary output, along with the impulse or acceleration necessary to effect capture to a bound orbit once the Earth's sphere of influence is reached. The initial guess for the constant acceleration is provided by a new estimation method, similar in spirit to Edelbaum's. Based on the

  15. Radar and photometric observations and shape modeling of contact binary near-Earth Asteroid (8567) 1996 HW1

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Magri, C.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C.; Taylor, P.A.; Fernandez, Y.R.; Mueller, M.; Vervack, R.J.; Benner, L. A. M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Ostro, S. J.; Scheeres, D.J.; Hicks, M. D.; Rhoades, H.; Somers, J.M.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Kouprianov, V.V.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Molotov, I.E.; Busch, M.W.; Margot, J. L.; Benishek, V.; Protitch-Benishek, V.; Galád, Adrián; Higgins, D.; Kušnirák, Peter; Pray, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 214, č. 1 (2011), s. 210-227 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107 Grant - others:SAV(SK) Vega2/0016/09; NASA (US) NNX10AP87G; NASA (US) NNX10AP87G Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * photometry * radar observations Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.385, year: 2011

  16. NEAR EARTH ASTEROID TRACKING V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) project began as a collaborative effort with the United States Air Force (USAF) in December 1995. It concentrated on the...

  17. Spectral properties of near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, M.; Vaduvescu, O.; de Leon, J.; Boaca, I. L.; Gherase, R. M.; Nedelcu, D. A.; INT students, I. N. G.

    2017-09-01

    We studied the spectral distributions of near-Earth asteroids on cometary orbits (NEACOs) in order to identify potential dormant or extinct comets among these objects. We present the spectral observations for 19 NEACOs obtained with Isaac Newton Telescope and Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Although initially classified as asteroid, one of our targets - 2007 VA85 was confirmed to be active comet 333P/LINEAR on its 2016 appearance. We found that the NEACOs population is a mixing of different compositional classes.

  18. Lightcurve Analysis for Four Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birtwhistle, Peter

    2018-04-01

    Lightcurves are reported for four near-Earth asteroids observed from Great Shefford Observatory during close approaches between 2010 January and 2017 November: 2000 RE52, 2008 YZ32, 2017 UK8, and 2017 VD. 2008 YZ32 is a large superfast rotator.

  19. Discovery of a Satellite around a Near-Earth Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Institut fuer Planetenerkundung and Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR) . [2] See ESO Press Release 09/94 of 18 May 1994. [3] Asteroids are small solid planetary bodies revolving around the Sun in orbits that are mostly located in the so-called Main Asteroid Belt, confined between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Most of them are thought to be fragments derived from catastrophic, past collisions between larger asteroids. By mid-1997, the orbits of about 8000 asteroids in the solar system were sufficiently well known to allow them to be officially numbered by the rules of the International Astronomical Union. (3671) Dionysus was discovered in 1984 at the Palomar Observatory (California, USA) and is named after the Greek god of wine. [4] The gravitational influence of the giant planet Jupiter can modify the orbits of asteroids located in particular regions of the Main Belt (the effect is refered to as `orbital perturbations'). As a result, the orbit of an asteroid may `cross' that of a major planet, and eventually it may become a NEO , i.e. a near-Earth object. The orbits of NEO's are highly unstable over times comparable to the age of the solar system. This instability can result in a collision with one of the terrestrial (inner) planets, or with the Sun, or in the ejection of the asteroid out of the solar system. The present orbit of (3671) Dionysus is such that this object is not likely to collide with the Earth in the foreseeable future. [5] The method of analyzing the lightcurve of Dionysus consists of `removing' (subtracting) the normal short-period brightness variations due to rotation of the asteroid and plotting the residuals against time, cf. Press Photo 20/97. The residual lightcurve shows a clear resemblance with typical lightcurves of eclipsing binary stellar systems (in which two stars move around each other, producing mutual eclipses) and leads to a model of two bodies revolving around a common gravitational centre, in an orbital

  20. Near-Earth asteroids: Metals occurrence, extraction, and fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westfall, Richard

    Near-earth asteroids occur in three principle types of orbits: Amor, Apollo, and Aten. Amor asteroids make relatively close (within 0.3 AU) approaches to the earth's orbit, but do not actually overlap it. Apollo asteroids spend most of their time outside the earth's orbital path, but at some point of close approach to the sun, they cross the orbit of the earth. Aten asteroids are those whose orbits remain inside the earth's path for the majority of their time, with semi-major axes less than 0.1 AU. Near-earth orbit asteroids include: stones, stony-irons, irons, carbonaceous, and super-carbonaceous. Metals within these asteroids include: iron, nickel, cobalt, the platinum group, aluminum, titanium, and others. Focus is on the extraction of ferrous and platinum group metals from the stony-iron asteroids, and the iron asteroids. Extraction of the metal fraction can be accomplished through the use of tunnel-boring-machines (TBM) in the case of the stony-irons. The metals within the story-iron asteroids occur as dispersed granules, which can be separated from the stony fraction through magnetic and gaseous digestion separation techniques. The metal asteroids are processes by drilling and gaseous digestion or by gaseous digestion alone. Manufacturing of structures, housings, framing networks, pressure vessels, mirrors, and other products is accomplished through the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of metal coating on advanced composites and on the inside of contour-defining inflatables (CDI). Metal coatings on advanced composites provide: resistance to degradation in the hostile environments of space; superior optical properties; superior heat dissipation; service as wear coatings; and service as evidential coatings. Metal coatings on the inside of CDI produce metal load-bearing products. Fibers such as graphite, kevlar, glass, ceramic, metal, etc., can be incorporated in the metal coatings on the inside of CDI producing metal matrix products which exhibit high strength

  1. The EURONEAR Lightcurve Survey of Near Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Macias, A. Aznar; Tudor, V.; Predatu, M.; Galád, A.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.; Stevance, H. F.; Errmann, R.; Unda-Sanzana, E.; Char, F.; Peixinho, N.; Popescu, M.; Sonka, A.; Cornea, R.; Suciu, O.; Toma, R.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Sota, A.; Licandro, J.; Serra-Ricart, M.; Morate, D.; Mocnik, T.; Diaz Alfaro, M.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; McCormac, J.; Humphries, N.

    2017-08-01

    This data paper presents lightcurves of 101 near Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed mostly between 2014 and 2017 as part of the EURONEAR photometric survey using 11 telescopes with diameters between 0.4 and 4.2 m located in Spain, Chile, Slovakia and Romania. Most targets had no published data at the time of observing, but some objects were observed in the same period mainly by B. Warner, allowing us to confirm or improve the existing results. To plan the runs and select the targets, we developed the public Long Planning tool in PHP. For preliminary data reduction and rapid follow-up planning we developed the LiDAS pipeline in Python and IRAF. For final data reduction, flux calibration, night linkage and Fourier fitting, we used mainly MPO Canopus. Periods of 18 targets are presented for the first time, and we could solve or constrain rotation for 16 of them. We secured periods for 45 targets (U˜ 3), found candidate periods for other 16 targets (U˜ 2), and we propose tentative periods for other 32 targets (U˜ 1). We observed 7 known or candidate binary NEAs, fiting 3 of them (2102 Tantalus, 5143 Heracles and 68348). We observed 8 known or candidate tumbling NEAs, deriving primary periods for 3 objects (9400, 242708 and 470510). We evidenced rapid oscillations (few minutes) and could fit fast tentative periods TP2 for 5 large newly suggested tumbling or binary candidates (27346, 112985, 285625, 377732, 408980), probably discovering at least one new binary NEA (2011 WO41). We resolved periods of 4 special objects which include two proposed space mission targets (163249 and 101955 Bennu), one very fast rotator NEA discovered by EURONEAR (2014 NL52) and the "Halloween asteroid" (2015 TB145). Using Mercator in simultaneous 3 band MAIA imaging, we could evidence for the first time clear variation in the color lightcurves of 10 NEAs. The periods derived from the g- r color lightcurves are found to match individual band period fits for 4 NEAs (27346, 86067, 112985 and

  2. The Mission Accessibility of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Abell, P. A.; Adamo, D. R.; Mazanek, D. D.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Chodas, P. W.; Chamberlin, A. B.; Benner, L. A. M.; Taylor, P.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The population of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that may be accessible for human space flight missions is defined by the Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS). The NHATS is an automated system designed to monitor the accessibility of, and particular mission opportunities offered by, the NEA population. This is analogous to systems that automatically monitor the impact risk posed to Earth by the NEA population. The NHATS system identifies NEAs that are potentially accessible for future round-trip human space flight missions and provides rapid notification to asteroid observers so that crucial follow-up observations can be obtained following discovery of accessible NEAs. The NHATS was developed in 2010 and was automated by early 2012. NHATS data are provided via an interactive web-site, and daily NHATS notification emails are transmitted to a mailing list; both resources are available to the public.

  3. PRODUCTION OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS ON RETROGRADE ORBITS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenstreet, S.; Gladman, B.; Ngo, H.; Granvik, M.; Larson, S.

    2012-01-01

    While computing an improved near-Earth object (NEO) steady-state orbital distribution model, we discovered in the numerical integrations the unexpected production of retrograde orbits for asteroids that had originally exited from the accepted main-belt source regions. Our model indicates that ∼0.1% (a factor of two uncertainty) of the steady-state NEO population (perihelion q < 1.3 AU) is on retrograde orbits. These rare outcomes typically happen when asteroid orbits flip to a retrograde configuration while in the 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter and then live for ∼0.001 to 100 Myr. The model predicts, given the estimated near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population, that a few retrograde 0.1-1 km NEAs should exist. Currently, there are two known MPC NEOs with asteroidal designations on retrograde orbits which we therefore claim could be escaped asteroids instead of devolatilized comets. This retrograde NEA population may also answer a long-standing question in the meteoritical literature regarding the origin of high-strength, high-velocity meteoroids on retrograde orbits.

  4. Near Earth Asteroid redirect missions based on gravity assist maneuver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledkov, Anton; Shustov, Boris M.; Eismont, Natan; Boyarsky, Michael; Nazirov, Ravil; Fedyaev, Konstantin

    During last years several events attracted world community attention to the hazards of hitting the Earth by sky objects. One of these objects is Apophis asteroid what was expected with nonzero probability to hit the Earth in 2036. Luckily after more precise measurements this event is considered as practically improbable. But the other object has really reached the Earth, entered the atmosphere in the Chelyabinsk area and caused vast damages. After this the hazardous near Earth objects problem received practical confirmation of the necessity to find the methods of its resolution. The methods to prevent collision of the dangerous sky object with the Earth proposed up to now look not practical enough if one mentions such as gravitational tractor or changing the reflectivity of the asteroid surface. Even the method supposing the targeting of the spacecraft to the hazardous object in order to deflect it from initial trajectory by impact does not work because its low mass as compared with the mass of asteroid to be deflected. For example the mass of the Apophis is estimated to be about 40 million tons but the spacecraft which can be launched to intercept the asteroid using contemporary launchers has the mass not more than 5 tons. So the question arises where to find the heavier projectile which is possible to direct to the dangerous object? The answer proposed in our paper is very simple: to search it among small near Earth asteroids. As small ones we suppose those which have the cross section size not more than 12-15 meters and mass not exceeding 1500 -1700 tons. According to contemporary estimates the number of such asteroids is not less than 100000. The other question is how to redirect such asteroid to the dangerous one. In the paper the possibilities are studied to use for that purpose gravity assist maneuvers near Earth. It is shown that even among asteroids included in contemporary catalogue there are the ones which could be directed to the trajectory of the

  5. Near-Earth Asteroids: Destinations for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Brent W.

    2014-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) is a system that monitors the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population to identify NEAs whose orbital characteristics may make them potential destinations for future round-trip human space flight missions. To accomplish this monitoring, Brent Barbee (GSFC) developed and automated a system that applies specialized trajectory processing to the orbits of newly discovered NEAs, and those for which we have updated orbit knowledge, obtained from the JPL Small Bodies Database (SBDB). This automated process executes daily and the results are distributed to the general public and the astronomy community. This aids in prioritizing telescope radar time allocations for obtaining crucial follow-up observations of highly accessible NEAs during the critical, because it is often fleeting, time period surrounding the time at which the NEAs are initially discovered.

  6. Spectral properties of binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajuelo, Myriam; Birlan, Mirel; Carry, Benoît; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Binzel, Richard P.; Berthier, Jérôme

    2018-04-01

    We present the first attempt to characterize the distribution of taxonomic class among the population of binary asteroids (15% of all small asteroids). For that, an analysis of 0.8-2.5{μ m} near-infrared spectra obtained with the SpeX instrument on the NASA/IRTF is presented. Taxonomic class and meteorite analog is determined for each target, increasing the sample of binary asteroids with known taxonomy by 21%. Most binary systems are bound in the S-, X-, and C- classes, followed by Q and V-types. The rate of binary systems in each taxonomic class agrees within uncertainty with the background population of small near-Earth objects and inner main belt asteroids, but for the C-types which are under-represented among binaries.

  7. Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids in Polarized Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afanasiev, V. L.; Ipatov, A. V.

    2018-04-01

    We report the results of position, photometric, and polarimetric observations of two near-Earth asteroids made with the 6-m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 1.2-hour measurements of the photometric variations of the asteroid 2009 DL46 made onMarch 8, 2016 (approximately 20m at a distance of about 0.23 AU from the Earth) showed a 0.m2-amplitude flash with a duration of about 20 minutes. During this time the polarization degree increased from the average level of 2-3% to 14%. The angle of the polarization plane and the phase angle were equal to 113° ± 1° and 43°, respectively. Our result indicates that the surface of the rotating asteroid (the rotation period of about 2.5 hours) must be non-uniformly rough. Observations of another asteroid—1994 UG—whose brightness was of about 17m and which was located at a geocentric distance of 0.077 AU, were carried out during the night of March 6/7, 2016 in two modes: photometric and spectropolarimetric. According to the results of photometric observations in Johnson's B-, V-, and R-band filters, over one hour the brightness of the asteroid remained unchanged within the measurement errors (about 0.m02). Spectropolarimetric observations in the 420-800 nm wavelength interval showed the polarization degree to decrease from 8% in the blue part of the spectrum to 2% in the red part with the phase angle equal to 44°, which is typical for S-type near-Earth asteroids.

  8. Spectral properties of eight near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, M.; Birlan, M.; Binzel, R.; Vernazza, P.; Barucci, A.; Nedelcu, D. A.; DeMeo, F.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2011-11-01

    Context. Near-Earth objects are among the most accessible bodies in the solar system in terms of the spacecraft propulsion requirements to reach them. The choice of targets and the planning of space missions are based on high quality ground-based science. Aims: The knowledge of the ensemble of physical parameters for these objects, including their composition, is a critical point in defining any mission scientific objectives. Determining the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is also possible from the ground by analyzing spectroscopy at both visible and infrared wavelengths. Methods: We present spectra of eight NEAs (1917, 8567, 16960, 164400, 188452, 2001 SG286, and 2010 TD54) obtained using the NASA telescope IRTF equipped with the spectro-imager SpeX. The observations were performed in the 0.8-2.5 μm spectral region using the low resolution mode of the spectrograph. We completed the taxonomic classification using the Bus-DeMeo taxonomy. We analyzed the spectra by comparing them to meteorite spectra from the Relab database using a χ2 approach. For the S-type asteroids of our sample, the band centers and BAR were calculated. We also attempted to interpret our data using a space-weathering model. Results: The taxonomic classification of five objects was reviewed and we assigned a corresponding type to the other three asteroids that were not classified before. We found that (1917) Cuyo, (8567) 1996 HW1, (16960) 1998 QS52, (188452) 2004 HE62, and 2010 TD54 are in the S-complex. We achieved a good matching of our S-type asteroids with the spectra of ordinary chondrites meteorites. The asteroid (5620) Jasonwheeler was found to have a NIR spectrum similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Thus, our results confirm its primitive properties obtained in several other spectral intervals. Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  9. Near-Earth Asteroid Physical Observations: 1993-1995

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skiff, B. A.; Buie, M. W.; Bowell, E.

    1996-09-01

    In September 1993, we initiated a regular program of photometric observations of Near-Earth objects. Since that time we have been allocated 5-7 nights per month at the 42'' Hall telescope at Anderson Mesa. There are three goals of our observing program for each asteroid: (1) to obtain an accurate rotation period and characterization of the lightcurve, (2) to obtain the surface color, and (3) to measure the photometric parameters, H and G. All of the lightcurve observations are made in Kron-Cousins R and we always obtain a V-R color. Limited ECAS colors are also obtained when the objects are bright enough. We have secured periods for 9 asteroids, 1864 Daedalus, 1866 Sisyphus, 3200 Phaethon, 4954 Eric, 5693 (1993 EA), 5836 (1993 MF), 6489 (1991 JX), 1993 QP, and 1993 WD. Some of these periods are a confimation of an earlier result but most are new. We obtained colors for all these objects as well as four additional asteroids, 5407 (1992 AX), 1993 UC, 1993 VW, and 1994 LW. We have additional (as yet unreduced) observations of 2062 Aten, 2212 Hephaistos, 3752 Camillo, 5143 Heracles, 5863 (1983 RB), 6053 (1993 BW3), 7025 (1993 QA), 7092 (1992 LC), 1989 VA, 1992 TC, 1994 RC, and 1995 YA3. The fastest rotation period we find is 2.402 hours for 1866 Sisyphus and the slowest is 93QP at ~ 24 hours. The colors for these objects range from V-R=0.34 for 3200 Phaethon to V-R=0.49 for 1866 Sisyphus and 4954 Eric. Most colors fall near V-R=0.43. These observations should help to provide a more complete understanding of the surface properties and rotational states of the Near-Earth asteroids. This work was supported by NASA Grant NAGW-1470.

  10. Strategic Implications of Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bret G.

    2011-01-01

    The current United States Space Policy [1] as articulated by the White House and later confirmed by the Congress [2] calls for [t]he extension of the human presence from low-Earth orbit to other regions of space beyond low-Earth orbit will enable missions to the surface of the Moon and missions to deep space destinations such as near-Earth asteroids and Mars. Human exploration of the Moon and Mars has been the focus of numerous exhaustive studies and planning, but missions to Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) has, by comparison, garnered relatively little attention in terms of mission and systems planning. This paper examines the strategic implications of human exploration of NEAs and how they can fit into the overall exploration strategy. This paper specifically addresses how accessible NEAs are in terms of mission duration, technologies required, and overall architecture construct. Example mission architectures utilizing different propulsion technologies such as chemical, nuclear thermal, and solar electric propulsion were formulated to determine resulting figures of merit including number of NEAs accessible, time of flight, mission mass, number of departure windows, and length of the launch windows. These data, in conjunction with what we currently know about these potential exploration targets (or need to know in the future), provide key insights necessary for future mission and strategic planning.

  11. Near Earth Asteroid Solar Sail Engineering Development Unit Test Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockett, Tiffany Russell; Few, Alexander; Wilson, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout project is a 30x20x10cm (6U) cubesat reconnaissance mission to investigate a near Earth asteroid utilizing an 86m2 solar sail as the primary propulsion system. This will be the largest solar sail NASA will launch to date. NEA Scout is a secondary payload currently manifested on the maiden voyage of the Space Launch System in 2018. In development of the solar sail subsystem, design challenges were identified and investigated for packaging within a 6U form factor and deployment in cis-lunar space. Analysis furthered understanding of thermal, stress, and dynamics of the stowed system and matured an integrated sail membrane model for deployed flight dynamics. This paper will address design, fabrication, and lessons learned from the NEA Scout solar sail subsystem engineering development unit. From optical properties of the sail material to folding and spooling the single 86m2 sail, the team has developed a robust deployment system for the solar sail. This paper will also address expected and received test results from ascent vent, random vibration, and deployment tests.

  12. Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNET-SAAO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erasmus, N.; Trilling, D. E.; Sickafoose, A. A.; Van Gend, C. [South African Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town, 7925 (South Africa); Mommert, M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Hora, J. L., E-mail: nerasmus@saao.ac.za [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138-1516 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2° × 2° field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either an S-, C-, X-, or D-type asteroid by means of a Machine Learning algorithm approach. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not-stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ∼1 hr light curve data for each NEA, and of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six targets and report lower limits for the remaining targets.

  13. Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNET-SAAO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erasmus, N.; Mommert, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Sickafoose, A. A.; van Gend, C.; Hora, J. L.

    2017-10-01

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2° × 2° field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either an S-, C-, X-, or D-type asteroid by means of a Machine Learning algorithm approach. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not-stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ∼1 hr light curve data for each NEA, and of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six targets and report lower limits for the remaining targets.

  14. Bias correction factors for near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedix, Gretchen K.; Mcfadden, Lucy Ann; Morrow, Esther M.; Fomenkova, Marina N.

    1992-01-01

    Knowledge of the population size and physical characteristics (albedo, size, and rotation rate) of near-Earth asteroids (NEA's) is biased by observational selection effects which are functions of the population's intrinsic properties and the size of the telescope, detector sensitivity, and search strategy used. The NEA population is modeled in terms of orbital and physical elements: a, e, i, omega, Omega, M, albedo, and diameter, and an asteroid search program is simulated using actual telescope pointings of right ascension, declination, date, and time. The position of each object in the model population is calculated at the date and time of each telescope pointing. The program tests to see if that object is within the field of view (FOV = 8.75 degrees) of the telescope and above the limiting magnitude (V = +1.65) of the film. The effect of the starting population on the outcome of the simulation's discoveries is compared to the actual discoveries in order to define a most probable starting population.

  15. Olivine-rich asteroids in the near-Earth space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Marcel; Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Fornasier, S.; Doressoundiram, A.; Lantz, C.; Merlin, F.; Belskaya, I. N.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2018-03-01

    In the framework of a 30-night spectroscopic survey of small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) we present new results regarding the identification of olivine-rich objects. The following NEAs were classified as A-type using visible spectra obtained with 3.6 m NTT telescope: (293726) 2007 RQ17, (444584) 2006 UK, 2012 NP, 2014 YS34, 2015 HB117, 2015 LH, 2015 TB179, 2015 TW144. We determined a relative abundance of 5.4% (8 out of 147 observed targets) A-types at hundred meter size range of NEAs population. The ratio is at least five times larger compared with the previously known A-types, which represent less than ˜1% of NEAs taxonomically classified. By taking into account that part of our targets may not be confirmed as olivine-rich asteroids by their near-infrared spectra, or they can have a nebular origin, our result provides an upper-limit estimation of mantle fragments at size ranges bellow 300m. Our findings are compared with the "battered-to-bits" scenario, claiming that at small sizes the olivine-rich objects should be more abundant when compared with basaltic and iron ones.

  16. Olivine-rich asteroids in the near-Earth space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, Marcel; Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Fornasier, S.; Doressoundiram, A.; Lantz, C.; Merlin, F.; Belskaya, I. N.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2018-06-01

    In the framework of a 30-night spectroscopic survey of small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), we present new results regarding the identification of olivine-rich objects. The following NEAs were classified as A-type using visible spectra obtained with 3.6-m New Technology Telescope: (293726) 2007 RQ17, (444584) 2006 UK, 2012 NP, 2014 YS34, 2015 HB117, 2015 LH, 2015 TB179, 2015 TW144. We determined a relative abundance of 5.4 per cent (8 out of 147 observed targets) A-types at a 100-m size range of NEA population. The ratio is at least five times larger compared with the previously known A-types, which represent less than ˜ 1 per cent of NEAs taxonomically classified. By taking into account that part of our targets may not be confirmed as olivine-rich asteroids by their near-infrared spectra, or they can have a nebular origin, our result provides an upper-limit estimation of mantle fragments at size ranges below 300 m. Our findings are compared with the `battered-to-bits' scenario, claiming that at small sizes the olivine-rich objects should be more abundant when compared with basaltic and iron ones.

  17. Finding very small near-Earth asteroids using synthetic tracking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Michael; Nemati, Bijan; Zhai, Chengxing; Turyshev, Slava G.; Sandhu, Jagmit; Hallinan, Gregg; Harding, Leon K.

    2014-01-01

    We present an approach that significantly increases the sensitivity for finding and tracking small and fast near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). This approach relies on a combined use of a new generation of high-speed cameras which allow short, high frame-rate exposures of moving objects, effectively 'freezing' their motion, and a computationally enhanced implementation of the 'shift-and-add' data processing technique that helps to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for detection of NEAs. The SNR of a single short exposure of a dim NEA is insufficient to detect it in one frame, but by computationally searching for an appropriate velocity vector, shifting successive frames relative to each other and then co-adding the shifted frames in post-processing, we synthetically create a long-exposure image as if the telescope were tracking the object. This approach, which we call 'synthetic tracking,' enhances the familiar shift-and-add technique with the ability to do a wide blind search, detect, and track dim and fast-moving NEAs in near real time. We discuss also how synthetic tracking improves the astrometry of fast-moving NEAs. We apply this technique to observations of two known asteroids conducted on the Palomar 200 inch telescope and demonstrate improved SNR and 10 fold improvement of astrometric precision over the traditional long-exposure approach. In the past 5 yr, about 150 NEAs with absolute magnitudes H = 28 (∼10 m in size) or fainter have been discovered. With an upgraded version of our camera and a field of view of (28 arcmin) 2 on the Palomar 200 inch telescope, synthetic tracking could allow detecting up to 180 such objects per night, including very small NEAs with sizes down to 7 m.

  18. Finding very small near-Earth asteroids using synthetic tracking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shao, Michael; Nemati, Bijan; Zhai, Chengxing; Turyshev, Slava G.; Sandhu, Jagmit [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-0899 (United States); Hallinan, Gregg; Harding, Leon K. [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-02-10

    We present an approach that significantly increases the sensitivity for finding and tracking small and fast near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). This approach relies on a combined use of a new generation of high-speed cameras which allow short, high frame-rate exposures of moving objects, effectively 'freezing' their motion, and a computationally enhanced implementation of the 'shift-and-add' data processing technique that helps to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for detection of NEAs. The SNR of a single short exposure of a dim NEA is insufficient to detect it in one frame, but by computationally searching for an appropriate velocity vector, shifting successive frames relative to each other and then co-adding the shifted frames in post-processing, we synthetically create a long-exposure image as if the telescope were tracking the object. This approach, which we call 'synthetic tracking,' enhances the familiar shift-and-add technique with the ability to do a wide blind search, detect, and track dim and fast-moving NEAs in near real time. We discuss also how synthetic tracking improves the astrometry of fast-moving NEAs. We apply this technique to observations of two known asteroids conducted on the Palomar 200 inch telescope and demonstrate improved SNR and 10 fold improvement of astrometric precision over the traditional long-exposure approach. In the past 5 yr, about 150 NEAs with absolute magnitudes H = 28 (∼10 m in size) or fainter have been discovered. With an upgraded version of our camera and a field of view of (28 arcmin){sup 2} on the Palomar 200 inch telescope, synthetic tracking could allow detecting up to 180 such objects per night, including very small NEAs with sizes down to 7 m.

  19. Steve Ostro and the Near-Earth Asteroid Impact Hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.

    2009-09-01

    The late Steve Ostro, whose scientific interests in Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) primarily related to his planetary radar research in the 1980s, soon became an expert on the impact hazard. He quickly realized that radar provided perspectives on close-approaching NEAs that were both very precise as well as complementary to traditional astrometry, enabling good predictions of future orbits and collision probabilities extending for centuries into the future. He also was among the few astronomers who considered the profound issues raised by this newly recognized hazard and by early suggestions of how to mitigate the hazard. With Carl Sagan, Ostro articulated the "deflection dilemma" and other potential low-probability but real dangers of mitigation technologies that might be more serious than the low-probability impact hazard itself. Yet Ostro maintained a deep interest in developing responsible mitigation technologies, in educating the public about the nature of the impact hazard, and in learning more about the population of threatening bodies, especially using the revealing techniques of delay-doppler radar mapping of NEAs and their satellites.

  20. Radar investigations of near-Earth asteroids at Arecibo and Goldstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozovic, M.; Nolan, M.; Benner, L.; Busch, M.; Howell, E.; Taylor, P.; Springmann, A.; Giorgini, J.; Margot, J.; Magri, C.; Sheppard, M.; Naidu, S.

    2014-07-01

    Radar observations are a powerful technique to study near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). The Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars can provide delay-Doppler images that can directly resolve surface features such as concavities, hills, ridges, and boulders. Goldstone's 3.75-m resolution capability is invaluable when attempting to image NEAs with diameters smaller than 50 m. To date, over 430 near-Earth asteroids and 136 main-belt asteroids have been observed with radar. 80 % of the radar-detected NEAs have been observed within the last 10 years. The radar detection rate in the last three years has tripled relative to the average in the previous decade due to an increase in funding and greater scheduling flexibility. Currently, ˜400 observing hours per year at Goldstone and ˜600 observing hours per year at Arecibo are devoted to observing asteroids. We strive to observe all strong and moderately strong imaging targets, Yarkovsky drift candidates, NEOWISE targets, asteroids with very low perihelia that can be used to measure solar oblateness, and as many other detectable asteroids as resources allow. We also regularly attempt to observe any asteroid that is flagged by the Near-Earth Object Human Spaceflight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) list (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/nhats/). To date, we have observed more than 60 NHATS objects at Arecibo and Goldstone. In the past three years, ˜1/3 of the detected asteroids were targets of opportunity (TOOs), some of which we observed within 24 h from when the discoveries were announced. Many TOOs are small, rapidly moving objects that are detectable by radar only within few lunar distances. Radar astrometry is particularly important for these asteroids because they are too faint to be followed for long with optical telescopes. A radar-range measurement often secures their orbit for decades or centuries, where otherwise the object would be lost and require rediscovery. In one of the extreme cases, two delay and two Doppler

  1. Lightcurve Analysis for Near-Earth Asteroid (143404) 2003 BD44

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polakis, Tom; Warner, Brian D.; Skiff, Brian A.

    2018-01-01

    The synodic rotation period has been determined for the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (143404) 2003 BD44. The asteroid was observed during three intervals with a rotation period on the order of 79 h determined in each case. The lightcurve exhibited rapidly changing morphology as the asteroid approached. Data have submitted to the ALCDEF database.

  2. Thermal Inertia of near-Earth Asteroids and Strength of the Yarkovsky Effect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delbo, Marco; Dell'Oro, A.; Harris, A. W.; Mottola, S.; Mueller, M.

    2006-01-01

    Thermal inertia is the physical parameter that controls the temperature distribution over the surface of an asteroid. It affects the strength of the Yarkovsky effect, which causes orbital drift of km-sized asteroids and is invoked to explain the delivery of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) from the main

  3. Results of near-Earth-asteroid photometry in the frame of the ASPIN programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krugly, Y.; Molotov, I.; Inasaridze, R.; Kvaratskhelia, O.; Aivazyan, V.; Rumyantsev, V.; Belskaya, I.; Golubaev, A.; Sergeev, A.; Shevchenko, V.; Slyusarev, I.; Burkhonov, O.; Ehgamberdiev, S.; Elenin, L.; Voropaev, V.; Koupianov, V.; Gaftonyuk, N.; Baransky, A.; Irsmambetova, T.; Litvinenko, E.; Aliev, A.; Namkhai, T.

    2014-07-01

    Regular photometric observations aimed for obtaining physical properties of near-Earth asteroids (NEA) are carried out within the Asteroid Search and Photometry Initiative (ASPIN) of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). At present, ISON project joins 35 observation facilities in 15 countries with 80 telescopes of different class. Photometric observations of NEAs are carried out at the telescopes with apertures from 20 cm up to 2.6 m equipped with CCD cameras. The obtained lightcurves in the Johnson-Cousins photometric system or in exceptional cases in the integral light (unfiltered photometry) have typical photometric accuracy of 0.01-0.03 mag. The main targets of these observations are near-Earth asteroids as hazardous objects pose a threat for the Earth civilization. The main purpose of the observations is to study characteristics of asteroids such as rotation period, size, and shape of the body, and surface composition. The observations are aimed toward searching binary asteroids, supporting the asteroid radar observations and investigation of the YORP effect. In 2013, we have observed 40 near-Earth asteroids in more than 200 nights. The rotation periods have been determined for 14 NEAs for the first time and, for 6 NEAs, rotation periods were defined more precisely. New rotation periods have been obtained for objects from Aten group: (137805) 1999 YK_5, (329437) 2002 OA_{22}, (367943) Duende (2012 DA_{14}); Apollo: (17188) 1999 WC_2, (137126) 1999 CF_9, (163249) 2002 GT, (251346) 2007 SJ, 2013 TV_{135}; Amor: (9950) ESA, (24445) 2000 PM_8, (137199) 1999 KX_4, (285263) 1998 QE_2, (361071) 2006 AO_4, 2010 XZ_{67}, and refined for (1943) Anteros, (3361) Orpheus, (3752) Camillo, (7888) 1993 UC, (53435) 1999 VM_{40}, (68216) 2001 CV_{26}. NEAs (7888) 1993 UC and (68216) 2001 CV_{26} were found to show signs of a binary nature. To detect possible binary asteroids, we observe the object during several consecutive nights and at several observatories

  4. Desert RATS 2011: Near-Earth Asteroid Human Exploration Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercromby, Andrew; Gernhardt, Michael L.; Chappel, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) 2011 field test involved the planning and execution of a series of exploration scenarios under operational conditions similar to those that would be expected during a human exploration mission to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The focus was on understanding the operations tempo during simulated NEA exploration and the implications of communications latency and limited data bandwidth. Anchoring technologies and sampling techniques were not evaluated due to the immaturity of those technologies and the inability to meaningfully test them at D-RATS. Reduced gravity analogs and simulations are being used to fully evaluate Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) and extravehicular (EVA) operations and interactions in near-weightlessness at a NEA as part of NASA s integrated analogs program. Hypotheses were tested by planning and performing a series of 1-day simulated exploration excursions comparing test conditions all of which involved a single Deep Space Habitat (DSH) and either zero, one, or two MMSEVs; three or four crewmembers; one of two different communications bandwidths; and a 100-second roundtrip communications latency between the field site and Houston. Excursions were executed at the Black Point Lava Flow test site with a Mission Control Center and Science Support Room at Johnson Space Center (JSC) being operated with 100-second roundtrip communication latency to the field. Crews were composed of astronauts and professional field geologists and teams of Mission Operations, Science, and Education & Public Outreach (EPO) experts also supported the mission simulations each day. Data were collected separately from the Crew, Mission Operations, Science, and EPO teams to assess the test conditions from multiple perspectives. For the operations tested, data indicates practically significant benefits may be realized by including at least one MMSEV and by including 4 versus 3 crewmembers in the NEA exploration

  5. Around 1500 near-Earth-asteroid orbits improved via EURONEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Tudorica, A.; Toma, R.

    2014-07-01

    Born in 2006 in Paris, the European Near Earth Asteroids Research project (EURONEAR, euronear.imcce.fr) aims ''to study NEAs and PHAs using existing telescopes available to its network and hopefully in the future some automated dedicated 1--2 m facilities''. Although we believe the first aim is fulfilled, the second was not achieved yet, requiring serious commitment from the European NEA researchers and funding agencies. Mainly using free labor by about 30 students and amateur astronomers (from Romania, Chile, UK, France, etc), the PI backed up by his associates M. Birlan (IMCCE Paris) and J. Licandro (IAC Tenerife) and a few other astronomers of the EURONEAR network having access to a few telescopes are approaching around 1,500 observed NEAs whose orbits were improved based on our astrometric contributions. To achive this milestone, we used two main resources and a total of 15 facilities: i) Observing time obtained at 11 professional 1--4 m class telescopes (Chile, La Palma, France, Germany) plus 3 smaller 30--50 cm educational/public outreach telescopes (Romania and Germany) adding about 1,000 observed NEAs; and ii) astrometry obtained from data mining of 4 major image archives (ESO/MPG WFI, INT WFC, CFHTLS Megacam and Subaru SuprimeCam) adding about 500 NEAs recovered in archival images. Among the highlights, about 100 NEAs, PHAs and VIs were observed, recovered or precovered in archives at their second opposition (up to about 15 years away from discovery) or have their orbital arc much extended, and a few VIs and PHAs were eliminated. Incidentally, about 15,000 positions of almost 2,000 known MBAs were reported (mostly in the INT, ESO/MPG and Blanco large fields). About 40 new (one night) NEO candidates and more than 2,000 (one night) unknown MBAs were reported, including about 150 MBAs credited as EURONEAR discoveries. Based on the INT and Blanco data we derived some statistics about the MBA and NEA population observable with 2m and 4m telescopes, proposing a

  6. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Susan L.; Kundrot, Craig; Charles, John B.

    2011-01-01

    This poster paper reviews the Astronaut health and performance issues for a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) mission. Risks and other considerations are grouped into four categories and they are characterized for criticality.

  7. VLWIR Sensors for Detecting and Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — An important NASA mission is to detect, count and track near-earth asteroids for a variety of reasons including the hazards of collisions with our planet. Such...

  8. Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2017 July Through October

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.

    2018-01-01

    Lightcurves for 37 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2017 July through October were analyzed for rotation period and signs of satellites or tumbling. (6053) 1993 BW3 was found to have an ambiguous solution that was resolved to 2.5737 h by using split-halves plots (see Harris et al., 2014). Data from 2016 for (141354) 2002 AJ29 were re-examined in light of new, independent results (Vaduvescu et al., 2017; 10.754 h). The 2016 data now lead to a revised period of 10.801 h. Recent results for (12538) 1998 OH by Vaduvescu et al. (2017, 2.58 h) prompted a reexamination of CS3 data from 2014 and 2016 with the result that the more recent period of 5.151 h (Warner, 2017a) is still more likely correct. Analysis of (66146) 1998 TU3 indicates it is a possible binary asteroid with P1 = 2.37760 h and PORB = 13.58 h. 2012 TC4 and 2017 NH were both found to be tumbling asteroids with short periods and large amplitudes.

  9. Joint lightcurve observations of 10 near-Earth asteroids from Modra and Ondřejov

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Galád, Adrián; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.; Világi, J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 97, 1-2 (2005), s. 147-163 ISSN 0167-9295 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * near-Earth asteroids * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.975, year: 2005

  10. Trajectory and physical properties of near-Earth asteroid 2009 BD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farnocchia, D.; Mommert, M.; Hora, J. L.; Chesley, S. R.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Trilling, D. E.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Smith, H. A.; Fazio, G. G.; Knežević, Zoran; Lemaitre, Anne

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the trajectory of near-Earth asteroid 2009~BD, which is a candidate target of the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. The small size of 2009 BD and its Earth-like orbit pose challenges to understanding the dynamical properties of 2009 BD. In particular, nongravitational perturbations, such as

  11. Near-Earth-object survey progress and population of small near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A.

    2014-07-01

    Estimating the total population vs. size of NEAs and the completion of surveys is the same thing since the total population is just the number discovered divided by the estimated completion. I review the method of completion estimation based on ratio of re-detected objects to total detections (known plus new discoveries). The method is quite general and can be used for population estimations of all sorts, from wildlife to various classes of solar system bodies. Since 2001, I have been making estimates of population and survey progress approximately every two years. Plotted below, left, is my latest estimate, including NEA discoveries up to August, 2012. I plan to present an update at the meeting. All asteroids of a given size are not equally easy to detect because of specific orbital geometries. Thus a model of the orbital distribution is necessary, and computer simulations using those orbits need to establish the relation between the raw re-detection ratio and the actual completion fraction. This can be done for any sub-group population, allowing to estimate the population of a subgroup and the expected current completion. Once a reliable survey computer model has been developed and ''calibrated'' with respect to actual survey re-detections versus size, it can be extrapolated to smaller sizes to estimate completion even at very small size where re-detections are rare or even zero. I have recently investigated the subgroup of extremely low encounter velocity NEAs, the class of interest for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), recently proposed by NASA. I found that asteroids of diameter ˜ 10 m with encounter velocity with the Earth lower than 2.5 km/sec are detected by current surveys nearly 1,000 times more efficiently than the general background of NEAs of that size. Thus the current completion of these slow relative velocity objects may be around 1%, compared to 10^{-6} for that size objects of the general velocity distribution. Current surveys are nowhere near

  12. Discovery of M class objects among the near-earth asteroid population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Gradie, Jonathan

    1987-01-01

    Broadband colorimetry, visual photometry, near-infrared photometry, and 10 and 20 micron radiometry of the near-earth asteroids (NEAs) 1986 DA and 1986 EB are used to show that these objects belong to the M class of asteroids. The similarity among the distributions of taxonomic classes among the 38 NEAs to the abundances found in the inner astoroid belt between the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances suggests that NEAs have their origins among asteroids in the vicinity of these resonances. The implied mineralogy of 1986 DA and 1986 EB is mostly nickel-iron metal; if this is indeed the case, then current models for meteorite production based on strength-related collisional processes on asteroidal surfaces predict that these two objects alone should produce about one percent of all meteorite falls. Iron meteorites derived from these near-earth asteroids should have low cosmic-ray exposure ages.

  13. Photometry and models of eight near-Earth asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kaasalainen, M.; Pravec, Petr; Krugly, Yu. N.; Kotková, Lenka; Torppa, J.; Virtanen, J.; Kaasalainen, S.; Erikson, A.; Nathues, A.; Ďurech, J.; Wolf, M.; Lagerros, J. S. V.; Lindgren, M.; Lagerkvist, C.-I.; Koff, R.; Davies, J.; Mann, R.; Kušnirák, Peter; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Chiorny, V. G.; Belskaya, I. N.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 167, č. 1 (2004), s. 178-196 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204; GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : asteroids * rotation * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.074, year: 2004

  14. Physical modeling of near-Earth Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Busch, M.W.; Giorgini, J. D.; Ostro, S. J.; Benner, L. A. M.; Jurgens, R. F.; Rose, R.; Hicks, M. D.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Ireland, M.J.; Scheeres, D.J.; Broschart, S.B.; Magri, C.; Nolan, M. C.; Hine, A. A.; Margot, J. L.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 2 (2007), s. 608-621 ISSN 0019-1035 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA208/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * composition * dynamics * rotation Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  15. Radar and optical observations and physical modeling of triple near-Earth Asteroid (136617) 1994 CC

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brozovic, M.; Benner, L. A. M.; Taylor, P.A.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Magri, C.; Scheeres, D.J.; Giorgini, J. D.; Pollock, J.; Pravec, Petr; Galád, Adrián; Fang, J.; Margot, J. L.; Busch, M.W.; Shepard, M.K.; Reichart, D. E.; Ivarsen, K.M.; Haislip, J.B.; LaCluyze, A.; Jao, J.; Slade, M. A.; Lawrence, K. J.; Hicks, M. D.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 216, č. 1 (2011), s. 241-256 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107 Grant - others:SAV(SK) Vega 2/0016/09 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * radar observations * near-Earth objects * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.385, year: 2011

  16. Assessing the physical nature of near-Earth asteroids through their dynamical histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Sosa, Andrea; Gallardo, Tabaré; Gutiérrez, Jorge N.

    2014-08-01

    We analyze a sample of 139 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), defined as those that reach perihelion distances q4.8 au), having Tisserand parameters 2family comets (JFCs) in near-Earth orbits, i.e. with q4.8 au of cometary origin, but it could be even lower if the NEAs in unstable orbits listed before turn out to be bona fide asteroids from the main belt. This study strengthens the idea that NEAs and comets essentially are two distinct populations, and that periods of dormancy in comets must be rare. Most likely, active comets in near-Earth orbits go through a continuous erosion process in successive perihelion passages until disintegration into meteoritic dust and fragments of different sizes. In this scenario, 289P/Blanpain might be a near-devolatized fragment from a by now disintegrated parent comet.

  17. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near Earth Asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrot, Craig E.; Charles, John B.; Steinberg, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of the health and performance issues for an manned exploration mission to some of the Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). The issues that NASA is reviewing are: 1. Radiation exposure 2. Inadequate food and nutrition 3. Challenges to behavioral health 4. Muscle, cardiovascular, bone atrophy 5. Dust and volatiles 6. Remote medical care 7. Decompression sickness.

  18. Human health and performance considerations for near earth asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Susan; Kundrot, Craig; Charles, John

    2013-11-01

    Humans are considered as a system in the design of any deep space exploration mission. The addition of many potential near asteroid (NEA) destinations to the existing multiple mission architecture for Lunar and Mars missions increases the complexity of human health and performance issues that are anticipated for exploration of space. We suggest that risks to human health and performance be analyzed in terms of the 4 major parameters related to multiple mission architecture: destination, duration, distance and vehicle design. Geological properties of the NEA will influence design of exploration tasks related to sample handling and containment, and extravehicular activity (EVA) capabilities including suit ports and tools. A robotic precursor mission that collects basic information on NEA surface properties would reduce uncertainty about these aspects of the mission as well as aid in mission architecture and exploration task design. Key mission parameters are strongly impacted by duration and distance. The most critical of these is deep-space radiation exposure without even the temporary shielding of a nearby large planetary body. The current space radiation permissible exposure limits (PEL) limits mission duration to 3-10 months depending on age, gender and stage of the solar cycle. Duration also impacts mission architectures including countermeasures for bone, muscle, and cardiovascular atrophy during continuous weightlessness; and behavioral and psychological issues resulting from isolation and confinement. Distance affects communications and limits abort and return options for a NEA mission. These factors are anticipated to have important effects on crew function and autonomous operations, as well as influence medical capability, supplies and training requirements of the crew. The design of a habitat volume that can maintain the physical and psychological health of the crew and support mission operations with limited intervention from earth will require an

  19. Constraints on the near-Earth asteroid obliquity distribution from the Yarkovsky effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardioli, C.; Farnocchia, D.; Rozitis, B.; Cotto-Figueroa, D.; Chesley, S. R.; Statler, T. S.; Vasile, M.

    2017-12-01

    Aims: From light curve and radar data we know the spin axis of only 43 near-Earth asteroids. In this paper we attempt to constrain the spin axis obliquity distribution of near-Earth asteroids by leveraging the Yarkovsky effect and its dependence on an asteroid's obliquity. Methods: By modeling the physical parameters driving the Yarkovsky effect, we solve an inverse problem where we test different simple parametric obliquity distributions. Each distribution results in a predicted Yarkovsky effect distribution that we compare with a χ2 test to a dataset of 125 Yarkovsky estimates. Results: We find different obliquity distributions that are statistically satisfactory. In particular, among the considered models, the best-fit solution is a quadratic function, which only depends on two parameters, favors extreme obliquities consistent with the expected outcomes from the YORP effect, has a 2:1 ratio between retrograde and direct rotators, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions, and is statistically consistent with the distribution of known spin axes of near-Earth asteroids.

  20. A reduced estimate of the number of kilometre-sized near-Earth asteroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, D; Helin, E; Lawrence, K; Pravdo, S

    2000-01-13

    Near-Earth asteroids are small (diameters Earth (they come within 1.3 AU of the Sun). Most have a chance of approximately 0.5% of colliding with the Earth in the next million years. The total number of such bodies with diameters > 1 km has been estimated to be in the range 1,000-2,000, which translates to an approximately 1% chance of a catastrophic collision with the Earth in the next millennium. These numbers are, however, poorly constrained because of the limitations of previous searches using photographic plates. (One kilometre is below the size of a body whose impact on the Earth would produce global effects.) Here we report an analysis of our survey for near-Earth asteroids that uses improved detection technologies. We find that the total number of asteroids with diameters > 1 km is about half the earlier estimates. At the current rate of discovery of near-Earth asteroids, 90% will probably have been detected within the next 20 years.

  1. An Investigation of the Ranges of Validity of Asteroid Thermal Models for Near-Earth Asteroid Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, M.; Jedicke, R.; Trilling, D. E.

    2018-02-01

    The majority of known asteroid diameters are derived from thermal-infrared observations. Diameters are derived using asteroid thermal models that approximate their surface temperature distributions and compare the measured thermal-infrared flux with model-dependent predictions. The most commonly used thermal model is the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), which is usually perceived as superior to other models like the Fast-Rotating Model (FRM). We investigate the applicability of the NEATM and the FRM to thermal-infrared observations of Near-Earth Objects using synthetic asteroids with properties based on the real Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population. We find the NEATM to provide more accurate diameters and albedos than the FRM in most cases, with a few exceptions. The modeling results are barely affected by the physical properties of the objects, but we find a large impact of the solar phase angle on the modeling results. We conclude that the NEATM provides statistically more robust diameter estimates for NEAs observed at solar phase angles less than ∼65°, while the FRM provides more robust diameter estimates for solar phase angles greater than ∼65°. We estimate that <5% of all NEA diameters and albedos derived up to date are affected by systematic effects that are of the same order of magnitude as the typical thermal model uncertainties. We provide statistical correction functions for diameters and albedos derived using the NEATM and FRM as a function of solar phase angle.

  2. Momentum Management for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Andrew; Diedrich, Benjamin L.; Orphee, Juan; Stiltner, Brandon; Becker, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Momentum Management (MM) system is described for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout) cubesat solar sail mission. Unlike many solar sail mission proposals that used solar torque as the primary or only attitude control system, NEA Scout uses small reaction wheels (RW) and a reaction control system (RCS) with cold gas thrusters, as described in the abstract "Solar Sail Attitude Control System for Near Earth Asteroid Scout Cubesat Mission." The reaction wheels allow fine pointing and higher rates with low mass actuators to meet the science, communication, and trajectory guidance requirements. The MM system keeps the speed of the wheels within their operating margins using a combination of solar torque and the RCS.

  3. Radiation effects in the Si-PIN detector on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission

    CERN Document Server

    Starr, R; Evans, L G; Floyd, S R; McClanahan, T P; Trombka, J I; Goldsten, J O; Maurer, R H; McNutt, R L; Roth, D R

    1999-01-01

    A Si-PIN photodiode is being used as a solar X-ray monitor on the X-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer experiment which is flying on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft. Since its launch in February 1996 this photodiode has experienced several brief failures. These anomalies and other performance characteristics will be described. Efforts to reproduce these failures in ground tests with flight spare equipment will also be discussed.

  4. Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2017 October-December

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Brian D.

    2018-04-01

    Lightcurves for 20 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2017 October-December were analyzed for rotation period and signs of satellites or tumbling. The results for 7336 Saunders are based on data obtained in 2017 August and revise the original period of 3.36 h to 4.311 h. Preliminary shape and spin axis models are given for 1864 Daedalus and (17511) 1992 QN.

  5. COMPASS Final Report: Near Earth Asteroids Rendezvous and Sample Earth Returns (NEARER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) team completed a design for a multi-asteroid (Nereus and 1996 FG3) sample return capable spacecraft for the NASA In-Space Propulsion Office. The objective of the study was to support technology development and assess the relative benefits of different electric propulsion systems on asteroid sample return design. The design uses a single, heritage Orion solar array (SA) (approx.6.5 kW at 1 AU) to power a single NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster ((NEXT) a spare NEXT is carried) to propel a lander to two near Earth asteroids. After landing and gathering science samples, the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) vehicle spirals back to Earth where it drops off the first sample s return capsule and performs an Earth flyby to assist the craft in rendezvousing with a second asteroid, which is then sampled. The second sample is returned in a similar fashion. The vehicle, dubbed Near Earth Asteroids Rendezvous and Sample Earth Returns (NEARER), easily fits in an Atlas 401 launcher and its cost estimates put the mission in the New Frontier s (NF's) class mission.

  6. Near-Earth Asteroids 2006 RH120 AND 2009 BD: Proxies for Maximally Accessible Objects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Brent W.; Chodas, Paul W.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) has identified over 1,400 of the approximately 12,800 currently known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as more astrodynamically accessible, round-trip, than Mars. Hundreds of those approximately 1,400 NEAs can be visited round-trip for less change-in-velocity than the lunar surface, and dozens can be visited round-trip for less change-in-velocity than low lunar orbit. How accessible might the millions of undiscovered NEAs be? We probe that question by investigating the hypothesis that NEAs 2006 RH120 and 2009 BD are proxies for the most accessible NEAs we would expect to find, and describing possible future NEA population model studies.

  7. Basic targeting strategies for rendezvous and flyby missions to the near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perozzi, Ettore; Rossi, Alessandro; Valsecchi, Giovanni B.

    2001-01-01

    Missions to asteroids and comets are becoming increasingly feasible both from a technical and a financial point of view. In particular, those directed towards the Near-Earth Asteroids have proven suitable for a low-cost approach, thus attracting the major space agencies as well as private companies. The choice of a suitable target involves both scientific relevance and mission design considerations, being often a difficult task to accomplish due to the limited energy budget at disposal. The aim of this paper is to provide an approach to basic trajectory design which allows to account for both aspects of the problem, taking into account scientific and technical information. A global characterization of the Near-Earth Asteroids population carried out on the basis of their dynamics, physical properties and flight dynamics considerations, allows to identify a group of candidates which satisfy both, the scientific and engineering requirements. The feasibility of rendezvous and flyby missions towards them is then discussed and the possibility of repeated encounters with the same object is investigated, as an intermediate scenario. Within this framework, the capability of present and near future launch and propulsion systems for interplanetary missions is also addressed.

  8. The size and shape of the near-Earth asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, David L.

    1994-01-01

    Evidence was recently reported for the existence of a near-Earth belt of small, Earth-approaching asteroids (SEAs) with diameters less than approximately 50 m. This result was based upon observations made with the Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona during the course of an ongoing search for Earth-approaching asteroids. Using a model to describe the effects of observational bias, it was shown that the orbits observed for SEAs are inconsistent with the orbits of Earth approaches larger than approximately 1 km, and imply a relatively high fraction of Earth-like orbits among the SEAs. In this paper, new observations are included and the bias model is extended in order to quantify the number of SEAs within the near-Earth belt and to further constrain their orbital distribution. The calculation shows that relative to larger Earth approachers. SEAs are deficient in Aten-type orbits for which the semimajor axis is less than 1.0 AU. Instead, nearly all SEAs with aphelia less than 1.4 AU (5 +/- 3% of the total population) have perihelia between 0.9 and 1.1 AU, thus defining a near-Earth belt. Those SEAs with aphelia greater than 1.4 AU, however, have a distribution of orbits that are indistinguishable from the orbits of larger Earth approachers. Taking the near-Earth belt into account does not significantly alter the previously determined enhancement in the number of SEAs the previously determined enhancement in the number of SEAs compared to an extrapolation of the number of larger Earth approachers. At approximately 10 m, the enhancement factor is 40 to within a factor of 2. Also, the RMS impact velocity of SEAs with Earth (17 km/sec) is nearly the same as for larger Earth approachers (18 km/sec).

  9. Origin Of The Near-earth Asteroid Phaethon And The Geminids Meteor Shower

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leon, Julia; Campins, H.; Tsiganis, K.; Morbidelli, A.; Licandro, J.

    2010-10-01

    Asteroid (3200) Phaethon is a remarkable Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It was the first asteroid associated with a meteor shower, namely the Geminid stream1. Phaethon's unusual orbit has a high inclination and a very low perihelion distance (0.14 AU). Its reflectance spectrum suggests a connection with primitive meteorites, best fitting with CI/CM carbonaceous chondrites2, aqueously altered and rich in hydrated silicates. However, its origin is not well determined. Recent studies suggest a connection with the population of main-belt comets3, classifying Phaethon as an activated asteroid. Here we show that the most likely source of Phaethon and the Geminids is the asteroid (2) Pallas, one of the largest asteroids in the main belt, which is surrounded by a collisional family, containing several Phaethon-sized objects. Pallas’ highly inclined orbit and surface composition, also primitive and with evidence of hydration4, support this connection. Our analysis reveals a striking similarity between Phaethon's visual spectrum and those of Pallas family members. Moreover, our numerical simulations show the existence of a robust dynamical pathway, connecting the orbital neighborhood of Pallas with that of Phaethon. In this respect, the Pallas family may constitute a source of primitive NEAs. (The author gratefully acknowledges support from the Spanish "Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación" projects AYA2005-07808-C03-02 and AYA2008-06202-C03-02.) References 1. Whipple, F. L. 1983, IAU Circular, 3881 2. Licandro, J., Campins, H., Mothe-Diniz, T., Pinilla-Alonso, N. & de Leon, J. 2007, Astron. Astrophys. 461, 751-757 3. Hsieh, H. H., & Jewitt, D. 2006, Science, 312, 561-563 4. Rivkin, A. S., Howell, E. S., Vilas, F. & Lebofsky, L. A. in Asteroids III (eds Bottke, W. F., Cellino, A., Paolicchi, P. & Binzel, R. P.) 235-253 (Univ. Arizona Press, 2002).

  10. Physical modeling of triple near-Earth Asteroid (153591) 2001 SN263 from radar and optical light curve observations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Becker, T.M.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C.; Magri, C.; Pravec, Petr; Taylor, P.A.; Oey, J.; Higgins, D.; Világi, J.; Kornoš, L.; Galád, A.; Gajdoš, Š.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Molotov, I.E.; Hicks, M. D.; Carbognani, A.; Warner, B. D.; Vachier, F.; Marchis, F.; Pollock, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 248, March (2015), s. 499-515 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0229 Grant - others:SAV(SK) Vega1/0670/13 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids * near- Earth objects * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.383, year: 2015

  11. BILLIARDS: A Demonstration Mission for Hundred-Meter Class Near-Earth Asteroid Disruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent William

    2015-01-01

    Collisions from near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have the potential to cause widespread harm to life on Earth. The hypervelocity nature of these collisions means that a relatively small asteroid (about a quartermile in diameter) could cause a global disaster. Proposed strategies for deflecting or disrupting such a threatening asteroid include detonation of a nuclear explosive device (NED) in close proximity to the asteroid, as well as intercepting the asteroid with a hypervelocity kinetic impactor. NEDs allow for the delivery of large amounts of energy to a NEA for a given mass launched from the Earth, but have not yet been developed or tested for use in deep space. They also present safety and political complications, and therefore may only be used when absolutely necessary. Kinetic impactors require a relatively simple spacecraft compared to NEDs, but also deliver a much lower energy for a given launch mass. To date, no demonstration mission has been conducted for either case, and such a demonstration mission must be conducted prior to the need to utilize them during an actual scenario to ensure that an established, proven system is available for planetary defense when the need arises. One method that has been proposed to deliver a kinetic impactor with impact energy approaching that of an NED is the "billiard-ball" approach. This approach would involve capturing an asteroid approximately ten meters in diameter with a relatively small spacecraft (compared to the launch mass of an equivalent direct kinetic impactor), and redirecting it into the path of an Earth-threatening asteroid. This would cause an impact which would disrupt the Earth-threatening asteroid or deflect it from its Earth-crossing trajectory. The BILLIARDS Project seeks to perform a demonstration of this mission concept in order to establish a protocol that can be used in the event of an impending Earth/asteroid collision. In order to accomplish this objective, the mission must (1) rendezvous with a

  12. Dynamical Origin and Terrestrial Impact Flux of Large Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesvorný, David; Roig, Fernando

    2018-01-01

    Dynamical models of the asteroid delivery from the main belt suggest that the current impact flux of diameter D> 10 km asteroids on the Earth is ≃0.5–1 Gyr‑1. Studies of the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population find a much higher flux, with ≃ 7 D> 10 km asteroid impacts per Gyr. Here we show that this problem is rooted in the application of impact probability of small NEAs (≃1.5 Gyr‑1 per object), whose population is well characterized, to large NEAs. In reality, large NEAs evolve from the main belt by different escape routes, have a different orbital distribution, and lower impact probabilities (0.8 ± 0.3 Gyr‑1 per object) than small NEAs. In addition, we find that the current population of two D> 10 km NEAs (Ganymed and Eros) is a slight fluctuation over the long-term average of 1.1+/- 0.5 D> 10 km NEAs in a steady state. These results have important implications for our understanding of the occurrence of the K/T-scale impacts on the terrestrial worlds.

  13. Arecibo and Goldstone radar images of near-Earth Asteroid (469896) 2005 WC1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Brozovic, Marina; Ostro, Steven J.; Jao, Joseph S.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Slade, Martin A.; Jurgens, Raymond F.; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.

    2018-01-01

    We report radar observations of near-Earth asteroid (469896) 2005 WC1 that were obtained at Arecibo (2380 MHz, 13 cm) and Goldstone (8560 MHz, 3.5 cm) on 2005 December 14-15 during the asteroid's approach within 0.020 au The asteroid was a strong radar target. Delay-Doppler images with resolutions as fine as 15 m/pixel were obtained with 2 samples per baud giving a correlated pixel resolution of 7.5 m. The radar images reveal an angular object with 100 m-scale surface facets, radar-dark regions, and an estimated diameter of 400 ± 50 m. The rotation of the facets in the images gives a rotation period of ∼2.6 h that is consistent with the estimated period of 2.582 h ± 0.002 h from optical lightcurves reported by Miles (private communication). 2005 WC1 has a circular polarization ratio of 1.12 ± 0.05 that is one of the highest values known, suggesting a structurally-complex near-surface at centimeter to decimeter spatial scales. It is the first asteroid known with an extremely high circular polarization ratio, relatively low optical albedo, and high radar albedo.

  14. Measurement requirements for a Near-Earth Asteroid impact mitigation demonstration mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolters, Stephen D.; Ball, Andrew J.; Wells, Nigel; Saunders, Christopher; McBride, Neil

    2011-10-01

    A concept for an Impact Mitigation Preparation Mission, called Don Quijote, is to send two spacecrafts to a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA): an Orbiter and an Impactor. The Impactor collides with the asteroid while the Orbiter measures the resulting change in the asteroid's orbit, by means of a Radio Science Experiment (RSE) carried out before and after the impact. Three parallel Phase A studies on Don Quijote were carried out for the European Space Agency: the research presented here reflects the outcomes of the study by QinetiQ. We discuss the mission objectives with regard to the prioritisation of payload instruments, with emphasis on the interpretation of the impact. The Radio Science Experiment is described and it is examined how solar radiation pressure may increase the uncertainty in measuring the orbit of the target asteroid. It is determined that to measure the change in orbit accurately a thermal IR spectrometer is mandatory, to measure the Yarkovsky effect. The advantages of having a laser altimeter are discussed. The advantages of a dedicated wide-angle impact camera are discussed and the field-of-view is initially sized through a simple model of the impact.

  15. Bulk Densities of Binary Asteroids from the Warm Spitzer NEO Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kistler, John; Trilling, D. E.; Mueller, M.; Hora, J. L.; Harris, A. W.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Emery, J. P.; Fazo, G.; Mainzer, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.; Thomas, C. A.

    2010-01-01

    The Warm Spitzer NEO survey, ExploreNEOs, will observe approximately 700 Near Earth Asteroids. Several of these objects are known to be binary asteroid systems. Binary systems are interesting due to the unique opportunity they present for determining the masses and densities of their constituent

  16. Near Earth Asteroid Scout: NASA's Solar Sail Mission to a NEA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Lockett, Tiffany

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing a solar sail propulsion system for use on the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout reconnaissance mission and laying the groundwork for their use in future deep space science and exploration missions. Solar sails use sunlight to propel vehicles through space by reflecting solar photons from a large, mirror-like sail made of a lightweight, highly reflective material. This continuous photon pressure provides propellantless thrust, allowing for very high Delta V maneuvers on long-duration, deep space exploration. Since reflected light produces thrust, solar sails require no onboard propellant. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission, funded by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program and managed by NASA MSFC, will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image Asteroid 1991VG and, potentially, other NEA's of interest for possible future human exploration. NEA Scout uses a 6U cubesat (to be provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory), an 86 m(exp. 2) solar sail and will weigh less than 12 kilograms. NEA Scout will be launched on the first flight of the Space Launch System in 2018. The solar sail for NEA Scout will be based on the technology developed and flown by the NASA NanoSail-D and The Planetary Society's Lightsail-A. Four approximately 7 m stainless steel booms wrapped on two spools (two overlapping booms per spool) will be motor deployed and pull the sail from its stowed volume. The sail material is an aluminized polyimide approximately 2.5 microns thick. As the technology matures, solar sails will increasingly be used to enable science and exploration missions that are currently impossible or prohibitively expensive using traditional chemical and electric propulsion systems. This paper will summarize the status of the NEA Scout mission and solar sail technology in general.

  17. Detection of a faint fast-moving near-Earth asteroid using the synthetic tracking technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhai, Chengxing; Shao, Michael; Nemati, Bijan; Werne, Thomas; Zhou, Hanying; Turyshev, Slava G.; Sandhu, Jagmit [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Hallinan, Gregg; Harding, Leon K., E-mail: chengxing.zhai@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    We report a detection of a faint near-Earth asteroid (NEA) using our synthetic tracking technique and the CHIMERA instrument on the Palomar 200 inch telescope. With an apparent magnitude of 23 (H = 29, assuming detection at 20 lunar distances), the asteroid was moving at 6.°32 day{sup –1} and was detected at a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 15 using 30 s of data taken at a 16.7 Hz frame rate. The detection was confirmed by a second observation 77 minutes later at the same S/N. Because of its high proper motion, the NEA moved 7 arcsec over the 30 s of observation. Synthetic tracking avoided image degradation due to trailing loss that affects conventional techniques relying on 30 s exposures; the trailing loss would have degraded the surface brightness of the NEA image on the CCD down to an approximate magnitude of 25 making the object undetectable. This detection was a result of our 12 hr blind search conducted on the Palomar 200 inch telescope over two nights, scanning twice over six (5.°3 × 0.°046) fields. Detecting only one asteroid is consistent with Harris's estimates for the distribution of the asteroid population, which was used to predict a detection of 1.2 NEAs in the H-magnitude range 28-31 for the two nights. The experimental design, data analysis methods, and algorithms are presented. We also demonstrate milliarcsecond-level astrometry using observations of two known bright asteroids on the same system with synthetic tracking. We conclude by discussing strategies for scheduling observations to detect and characterize small and fast-moving NEAs using the new technique.

  18. Trajectory design for a lunar mapping and near-Earth-asteroid flyby mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, David W.; Farquhar, Robert W.

    1993-01-01

    In August, 1994, the unusual asteroid (1620) Geographos will pass very close to the Earth. This provides one of the best opportunities for a low-cost asteroid flyby mission that can be achieved with the help of a gravity assist from the Moon during the years 1994 and 1995. A Geographos flyby mission, including a lunar orbiting phase, was recommended to the Startegic Defense Initiative (SDI) Office when they were searching for ideas for a deep-space mission to test small imaging systems and other lightweight technologies. The goals for this mission, called Clementine, were defined to consist of a comprehensive lunar mapping phase before leaving the Earth-Moon system to encounter Geographos. This paper describes how the authors calculated a trajectory that met the mission goals within a reasonable total Delta-V budget. The paper also describes some refinements of the initially computed trajectory and alternative trajectories were investigated. The paper concludes with a list of trajectories to fly by other near-Earth asteroids during the two years following the Geographos opportunity. Some of these could be used if the Geographos schedule can not be met. If the 140 deg phase angle of the Geographos encounter turns out to be too risky, a flyby of (2120) Tantalus in January, 1995, has a much more favorable approach illumination. Tantalus apparently can be reached from the same lunar orbit needed to get to Geographos. However, both the flyby speed and distance from the Earth are much larger for Tantalus than for Geographos.

  19. High Accuracy Ground-based near-Earth-asteroid Astrometry using Synthetic Tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Chengxing; Shao, Michael; Saini, Navtej; Sandhu, Jagmit; Werne, Thomas; Choi, Philip; Ely, Todd A.; Jacobs, Chirstopher S.; Lazio, Joseph; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; Owen, William M.; Preston, Robert; Turyshev, Slava; Michell, Adam; Nazli, Kutay; Cui, Isaac; Monchama, Rachel

    2018-01-01

    Accurate astrometry is crucial for determining the orbits of near-Earth-asteroids (NEAs). Further, the future of deep space high data rate communications is likely to be optical communications, such as the Deep Space Optical Communications package that is part of the baseline payload for the planned Psyche Discovery mission to the Psyche asteroid. We have recently upgraded our instrument on the Pomona College 1 m telescope, at JPL's Table Mountain Facility, for conducting synthetic tracking by taking many short exposure images. These images can be then combined in post-processing to track both asteroid and reference stars to yield accurate astrometry. Utilizing the precision of the current and future Gaia data releases, the JPL-Pomona College effort is now demonstrating precision astrometry on NEAs, which is likely to be of considerable value for cataloging NEAs. Further, treating NEAs as proxies of future spacecraft that carry optical communication lasers, our results serve as a measure of the astrometric accuracy that could be achieved for future plane-of-sky optical navigation.

  20. High precision predictions for near-Earth asteroids: the strange case of (3908) Nyx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnocchia, D.; Chesley, S. R.; Tholen, D. J.; Micheli, M.

    2014-08-01

    In November 2004 radar delay measurements of near-Earth asteroid (3908) Nyx obtained at the Arecibo radio telescope turned out to be away from the orbital prediction. We prove that this discrepancy was caused by a poor astrometric treatment and an incomplete dynamical model, which did not account for nongravitational perturbations. To improve the astrometric treatment, we remove known star catalog biases, apply suitable weights to the observations, and use an aggressive outlier rejection scheme. The main issue related to the dynamical model is having not accounted for the Yarkovsky effect. Including the Yarkovsky perturbation in the model makes the orbital prediction and the radar measurements statistically consistent by both reducing the offset and increasing the prediction uncertainty to a more realistic level. This analysis shows the sensitivity of high precision predictions to the astrometric treatment and the Yarkovsky effect. By using the full observational dataset we obtain a detection of the Yarkovsky effect acting on Nyx corresponding to an orbital drift m/year. In turn, we derive constraints on thermal inertia and bulk density. In particular, we find that the bulk density of Nyx is around 1 g/cm, possibly less. To make sure that our results are not corrupted by an asteroid impact or a close approach with a perturbing asteroid not included in our dynamical model, we show that the astrometry provides no convincing evidence of an impulsive variation of Nyx's velocity while crossing the main belt region.

  1. Temperature-Driven Shape Changes of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlman, Olive R.; Loper, Erik R.; Lockett, Tiffany E.

    2017-01-01

    Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout) is a NASA deep space Cubesat, scheduled to launch on the Exploration Mission 1 flight of the Space Launch System. NEA Scout will use a deployable solar sail as its primary propulsion system. The sail is a square membrane supported by rigid metallic tapespring booms, and analysis predicts that these booms will experience substantial thermal warping if they are exposed to direct sunlight in the space environment. NASA has conducted sunspot chamber experiments to confirm the thermal distortion of this class of booms, demonstrating tip displacement of between 20 and 50 centimeters in a 4-meter boom. The distortion behavior of the boom is complex and demonstrates an application for advanced thermal-structural analysis. The needs of the NEA Scout project were supported by changing the solar sail design to keep the booms shaded during use of the solar sail, and an additional experiment in the sunspot chamber is presented in support of this solution.

  2. Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Engineering Development Unit Test Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockett, Tiffany Russell; Few, Alexander; Wilson, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout project is a 6U reconnaissance mission to investigate a near Earth asteroid utilizing an 86m(sub 2) solar sail as the primary propulsion system. This will be the largest solar sail NASA has launched to date. NEA Scout is currently manifested on the maiden voyage of the Space Launch System in 2018. In development of the solar sail subsystem, design challenges were identified and investigated for packaging within a 6U form factor and deployment in cis-lunar space. Analysis was able to capture understanding of thermal, stress, and dynamics of the stowed system as well as mature an integrated sail membrane model for deployed flight dynamics. Full scale system testing on the ground is the optimal way to demonstrate system robustness, repeatability, and overall performance on a compressed flight schedule. To physically test the system, the team developed a flight sized engineering development unit with design features as close to flight as possible. The test suite included ascent vent, random vibration, functional deployments, thermal vacuum, and full sail deployments. All of these tests contributed towards development of the final flight unit. This paper will address several of the design challenges and lessons learned from the NEA Scout solar sail subsystem engineering development unit. Testing on the component level all the way to the integrated subsystem level. From optical properties of the sail material to fold and spooling the single sail, the team has developed a robust deployment system for the solar sail. The team completed several deployments of the sail system in preparation for flight at half scale (4m) and full scale (6.8m): boom only, half scale sail deployment, and full scale sail deployment. This paper will also address expected and received test results from ascent vent, random vibration, and deployment tests.

  3. Rapid-Response Characterization of Near-Earth Asteroids Using KMTNet-SAAO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erasmus, Nicolas; Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David E.; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; van Gend, Carel; Hora, Joseph L.; Worters, Hannah L.

    2017-10-01

    We present here VRI spectrophotometry of 39 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) observed with the Sutherland, South Africa, node of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). Of the 39 NEAs, 19 were targeted, but because of KMTNet’s large 2 deg × 2 deg field of view, 20 serendipitous NEAs were also captured in the observing fields. Our rapid-response approach meant targeted observations were performed within 44 days (median: 16 days, min: 4 days) of each NEA’s discovery date. Our broadband spectrophotometry is reliable enough to distinguish among four asteroid taxonomies and we were able to confidently categorize 31 of the 39 observed targets as either a S-, C-, X- or D-type asteroid. Our data suggest that the ratio between “stony” S-type NEAs and “not- stony” (C+X+D)-type NEAs, with H magnitudes between 15 and 25, is roughly 1:1. Additionally, we report ~1-hour light curve data for each NEA. Of the 39 targets, we were able to resolve the complete rotation period and amplitude for six and place lower limits for the remaining targets.Based on the success of this pilot study we plan to continue KMTNet observations but also make use of Lesedi, a new 1-meter remotely-operable telescope also situated in Sutherland, to perform similar spectrophotometric observations in the future. As before, we plan to target newly discovered NEAs in order to continue the rapid-response approach. With Lesedi, observations will take place throughout the year and we plan to include smaller NEAs (larger H magnitudes) in our sample. We will also increase the observed duration of each NEA to 2-3 hours so we are more likely to observe a complete rotation period for our observed NEAs.This study was facilitated by observations made at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and this work is partially supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). This work is supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant

  4. Deep Interior Mission: Imaging the Interior of Near-Earth Asteroids Using Radio Reflection Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaeinili, A.; Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Klaasen, K.; Ostro, S.; Plaut, J.; Yeomans, D.

    2004-12-01

    Near-Earth asteroids are important exploration targets since they provide clues to the evolution of the solar system. They are also of interest since they present a clear danger to Earth in the future. Our mission objective is to image the internal structure of two NEOs using radio reflection tomography (RRT), in order to explore the record of asteroid origin and impact evolution, and to test the fundamental hypothesis that these important members of the solar system are rubble piles rather than consolidated bodies. Our mission's RRT technique is analogous to doing a ``CAT scan" of the asteroid from orbit. Closely sampled radar echoes are processed to yield volumetric maps of mechanical and compositional boundaries, and measure interior material dielectric properties. The RRT instrument is a radar that operates at 5 and 15 MHz with two 30-m (tip-to-tip) dipole antennas that are used in a cross-dipole configuration. The radar transmitter and receiver electronics have heritage from JPL's MARSIS contribution to Mars Express, and the antenna is similar to systems used in IMAGE and LACE missions. The 5-MHz channel is designed to penetrate >1 km of basaltic rock, and 15-MHz penetrates a few hundred meters or more. In addition to RRT volumetric imaging, we use a redundant color cameras to explore the surface expressions of unit boundaries, in order to relate interior radar imaging to what is observable from spacecraft imaging and from Earth. The camera also yields stereo color imaging for geology and RRT-related compositional analysis. Gravity and high fidelity geodesy are used to explore how interior structure is expressed in shape, density, mass distribution and spin. Deep interior has two targets (S-type 1999 ND43 and V-type Nyx ) whose composition bracket the diversity of solar system materials that we are likely to encounter, and are richly complementary.

  5. SURVEY SIMULATIONS OF A NEW NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID DETECTION SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Giorgini, J.; Masiero, J.; Grav, T.; Conrow, T.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; Fowler, J.; Jarrett, T.; Spahr, T.; Statler, T.; Wright, E. L.

    2015-01-01

    We have carried out simulations to predict the performance of a new space-based telescopic survey operating at thermal infrared wavelengths that seeks to discover and characterize a large fraction of the potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population. Two potential architectures for the survey were considered: one located at the Earth–Sun L1 Lagrange point, and one in a Venus-trailing orbit. A sample cadence was formulated and tested, allowing for the self-follow-up necessary for objects discovered in the daytime sky on Earth. Synthetic populations of NEAs with sizes as small as 140 m in effective spherical diameter were simulated using recent determinations of their physical and orbital properties. Estimates of the instrumental sensitivity, integration times, and slew speeds were included for both architectures assuming the properties of newly developed large-format 10 μm HgCdTe detector arrays capable of operating at ∼35 K. Our simulation included the creation of a preliminary version of a moving object processing pipeline suitable for operating on the trial cadence. We tested this pipeline on a simulated sky populated with astrophysical sources such as stars and galaxies extrapolated from Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Explorer data, the catalog of known minor planets (including Main Belt asteroids, comets, Jovian Trojans, planets, etc.), and the synthetic NEA model. Trial orbits were computed for simulated position-time pairs extracted from the synthetic surveys to verify that the tested cadence would result in orbits suitable for recovering objects at a later time. Our results indicate that the Earth–Sun L1 and Venus-trailing surveys achieve similar levels of integral completeness for potentially hazardous asteroids larger than 140 m; placing the telescope in an interior orbit does not yield an improvement in discovery rates. This work serves as a necessary first step for the detailed planning of a next-generation NEA survey

  6. Determination of Eros Physical Parameters for Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Orbit Phase Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J. K.; Antreasian, P. J.; Georgini, J.; Owen, W. M.; Williams, B. G.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1995-01-01

    Navigation of the orbit phase of the Near Earth steroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission will re,quire determination of certain physical parameters describing the size, shape, gravity field, attitude and inertial properties of Eros. Prior to launch, little was known about Eros except for its orbit which could be determined with high precision from ground based telescope observations. Radar bounce and light curve data provided a rough estimate of Eros shape and a fairly good estimate of the pole, prime meridian and spin rate. However, the determination of the NEAR spacecraft orbit requires a high precision model of Eros's physical parameters and the ground based data provides only marginal a priori information. Eros is the principal source of perturbations of the spacecraft's trajectory and the principal source of data for determining the orbit. The initial orbit determination strategy is therefore concerned with developing a precise model of Eros. The original plan for Eros orbital operations was to execute a series of rendezvous burns beginning on December 20,1998 and insert into a close Eros orbit in January 1999. As a result of an unplanned termination of the rendezvous burn on December 20, 1998, the NEAR spacecraft continued on its high velocity approach trajectory and passed within 3900 km of Eros on December 23, 1998. The planned rendezvous burn was delayed until January 3, 1999 which resulted in the spacecraft being placed on a trajectory that slowly returns to Eros with a subsequent delay of close Eros orbital operations until February 2001. The flyby of Eros provided a brief glimpse and allowed for a crude estimate of the pole, prime meridian and mass of Eros. More importantly for navigation, orbit determination software was executed in the landmark tracking mode to determine the spacecraft orbit and a preliminary shape and landmark data base has been obtained. The flyby also provided an opportunity to test orbit determination operational procedures that will be

  7. The Near-Earth Encounter of Asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55): Thermal IR Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Lucy F.; Emery, J. P.; Moskovitz, N. A.; Busch, M. W.; Yang, B.; Granvik, M.

    2012-10-01

    The near-Earth approach (0.00217 AU, or 0.845 lunar distances) of the C-type asteroid 308635 (2005 YU55) in November 2011 presented a rare opportunity for detailed observations of a low-albedo NEA in this size range. As part of a multi-telescope campaign to measure visible and infrared spectra and photometry, we obtained mid-infrared ( 8 to 22 micron) photometry and spectroscopy of 2005 YU55 using Michelle [1] on the Gemini North telescope on UT November 9 and 10, 2011. An extensive radar campaign [2] together with optical lightcurves [3,4] established the rotation state of YU55. In addition, the radar imaging resulted in a shape model for the asteroid, detection of numerous boulders on its surface, and a preliminary estimate of its equatorial diameter at 380 +/- 20 m. In a preliminary analysis, applying the radar and lightcurve-derived parameters to a rough-surface thermophysical model fit to the Gemini/Michelle thermal emission photometry results in a thermal inertia range of approximately 500 to 1500 J m-2 s-1/2 K-1, with the low-thermal-inertia solution corresponding to the small end of the radar size range and vice versa. Updates to these results will be presented and modeling of the thermal contribution to the measured near-infrared spectra from Palomar/Triplespec and IRTF/SpeX will also be discussed. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of observatory staff and the support of the NASA NEOO program (LFL and JPE), the Carnegie fellowship (NAM), and NASA AES, NSF, and the NRAO Jansky Fellowship (MWB). [1] De Buizer, J. and R. Fisher, Proc. Hris (2005), pp. 84-87. [2] Busch, M.W. et al., ACM (2012), abstract #6179. [3] Warner, B., MPBull 39 (2), 84 [4] Pravec, P.

  8. Solar Sail Attitude Control System for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orphee, Juan; Diedrich, Ben; Stiltner, Brandon; Becker, Chris; Heaton, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    An Attitude Control System (ACS) has been developed for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission. The NEA Scout spacecraft is a 6U cubesat with an eighty-six square meter solar sail for primary propulsion that will launch as a secondary payload on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) and rendezvous with a target asteroid after a two year journey, and will conduct science imagery. The spacecraft ACS consists of three major actuating subsystems: a Reaction Wheel (RW) control system, a Reaction Control System (RCS), and an Active Mass Translator (AMT) system. The reaction wheels allow fine pointing and higher rates with low mass actuators to meet the science, communication, and trajectory guidance requirements. The Momentum Management System (MMS) keeps the speed of the wheels within their operating margins using a combination of solar torque and the RCS. The AMT is used to adjust the sign and magnitude of the solar torque to manage pitch and yaw momentum. The RCS is used for initial de-tumble, performing a Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM), and performing momentum management about the roll axis. The NEA Scout ACS is able to meet all mission requirements including attitude hold, slews, pointing for optical navigation and pointing for science with margin and including flexible body effects. Here we discuss the challenges and solutions of meeting NEA Scout mission requirements for the ACS design, and present a novel implementation of managing the spacecraft Center of Mass (CM) to trim the solar sail disturbance torque. The ACS we have developed has an applicability to a range of potential missions and does so in a much smaller volume than is traditional for deep space missions beyond Earth.

  9. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Resource Utilization, Science, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and planetary defence. Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. With respect to planetary defence, in 2005 the U.S. Congress directed NASA to implement a survey program to detect, track, and characterize NEAs equal or greater than 140 m in diameter in order to access the threat from such objects to the Earth. The current goal of this survey is to achieve 90% completion of objects equal or greater than 140 m in diameter by 2020.

  10. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley K. Borowski; Leonard A. Dudzinski; Melissa L. McGuire

    2000-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp ∼ 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼ 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched 235 U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three ∼15-klb f engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions

  11. Low-energy near Earth asteroid capture using Earth flybys and aerobraking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Minghu; McInnes, Colin; Ceriotti, Matteo

    2018-04-01

    Since the Sun-Earth libration points L1 and L2 are regarded as ideal locations for space science missions and candidate gateways for future crewed interplanetary missions, capturing near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) around the Sun-Earth L1/L2 points has generated significant interest. Therefore, this paper proposes the concept of coupling together a flyby of the Earth and then capturing small NEAs onto Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. In this capture strategy, the Sun-Earth circular restricted three-body problem (CRTBP) is used to calculate target Lypaunov orbits and their invariant manifolds. A periapsis map is then employed to determine the required perigee of the Earth flyby. Moreover, depending on the perigee distance of the flyby, Earth flybys with and without aerobraking are investigated to design a transfer trajectory capturing a small NEA from its initial orbit to the stable manifolds associated with Sun-Earth L1/L2 periodic orbits. Finally, a global optimization is carried out, based on a detailed design procedure for NEA capture using an Earth flyby. Results show that the NEA capture strategies using an Earth flyby with and without aerobraking both have the potential to be of lower cost in terms of energy requirements than a direct NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby. Moreover, NEA capture with an Earth flyby also has the potential for a shorter flight time compared to the NEA capture strategy without the Earth flyby.

  12. Photometric survey and taxonomic identifications of 92 near-Earth asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chien-Hsien; Ip, Wing-Huen; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Cheng, Yu-Chi; Lin, Hsing-Wen; Chang, Chan-Kao

    2018-03-01

    A photometric survey of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) was conducted from 2012 through 2014 at Lulin Observatory, Taiwan. The measurements of the color indices, B-V, V-R, and V-I allow the classification of 92 NEAs into seven taxonomic types. Of these samples, 39 of them are new classifications. The fractional abundances of these taxonomic complexes are: A ∼3%, C∼6.5%, D∼8%, Q∼26%, S∼37%, V∼6.5%, and X∼13%. This result is similar to that of Thomas et al. (2011) even though the populations of the D- and X-complex with low albedos are under-represented. The ratio of the C-cluster to the total population of S + C clusters are 0.22 ± 0.06 for H ≤ 17.0 and 0.31 ± 0.06 for H > 17.0, indicating a slightly higher fraction of dark-object population with sizes smaller than 1 km.

  13. Arecibo Radar Observation of Near-Earth Asteroids: Expanded Sample Size, Determination of Radar Albedos, and Measurements of Polarization Ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejoly, Cassandra; Howell, Ellen S.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Springmann, Alessondra; Virkki, Anne; Nolan, Michael C.; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Benner, Lance A. M.; Brozovic, Marina; Giorgini, Jon D.

    2017-10-01

    The Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population ranges in size from a few meters to more than 10 kilometers. NEAs have a wide variety of taxonomic classes, surface features, and shapes, including spheroids, binary objects, contact binaries, elongated, as well as irregular bodies. Using the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar system, we have measured apparent rotation rate, radar reflectivity, apparent diameter, and radar albedos for over 350 NEAs. The radar albedo is defined as the radar cross-section divided by the geometric cross-section. If a shape model is available, the actual cross-section is known at the time of the observation. Otherwise we derive a geometric cross-section from a measured diameter. When radar imaging is available, the diameter was measured from the apparent range depth. However, when radar imaging was not available, we used the continuous wave (CW) bandwidth radar measurements in conjunction with the period of the object. The CW bandwidth provides apparent rotation rate, which, given an independent rotation measurement, such as from lightcurves, constrains the size of the object. We assumed an equatorial view unless we knew the pole orientation, which gives a lower limit on the diameter. The CW also provides the polarization ratio, which is the ratio of the SC and OC cross-sections.We confirm the trend found by Benner et al. (2008) that taxonomic types E and V have very high polarization ratios. We have obtained a larger sample and can analyze additional trends with spin, size, rotation rate, taxonomic class, polarization ratio, and radar albedo to interpret the origin of the NEAs and their dynamical processes. The distribution of radar albedo and polarization ratio at the smallest diameters (≤50 m) differs from the distribution of larger objects (>50 m), although the sample size is limited. Additionally, we find more moderate radar albedos for the smallest NEAs when compared to those with diameters 50-150 m. We will present additional trends we

  14. Human Health and Performance Considerations for Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrot, Craig; Steinberg, Susan; Charles, John

    2010-01-01

    This presentation will describe the human health and performance issues that are anticipated for the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEA). Humans are considered a system in the design of any such deep-space exploration mission, and exploration of NEA presents unique challenges for the human system. Key factors that define the mission are those that are strongly affected by distance and duration. The most critical of these is deep-space radiation exposure without even the temporary shielding of a nearby large planetary body. The current space radiation permissible exposure limits (PEL) restrict mission duration to 3-10 months depending on age and gender of crewmembers and stage of the solar cycle. Factors that affect mission architecture include medical capability; countermeasures for bone, muscle, and cardiovascular atrophy during continuous weightlessness; restricted food supplies; and limited habitable volume. The design of a habitat that can maintain the physical and psychological health of the crew and support mission operations with limited intervention from Earth will require an integrated research and development effort by NASA s Human Research Program, engineering, and human factors groups. Limited abort and return options for an NEA mission are anticipated to have important effects on crew psychology as well as influence medical supplies and training requirements of the crew. Other important factors are those related to isolation, confinement, communication delays, autonomous operations, task design, small crew size, and even the unchanging view outside the windows for most of the mission. Geological properties of the NEA will influence design of sample handling and containment, and extravehicular activity capabilities including suit ports and tools. A robotic precursor mission that collects basic information on NEA surface properties would reduce uncertainty about these aspects of the mission as well as aid in design of mission architecture and

  15. The Characterization of Non-Gravitational Perturbations That Act on Near-Earth Asteroid Orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Greenberg, Adam H.; Verma, Ashok K.; Taylor, Patrick A.

    2017-10-01

    The Yarkovsky effect is a thermal process acting upon the orbits of small celestial bodies which can cause these orbits to slowly expand or contract with time. The effect is subtle -- typical drift rates lie near 1e-4 au/My for a ~1 km diameter object -- and is thus generally difficult to measure. However, objects with long observation intervals, as well as objects with radar detections, serve as excellent candidates for the observation of this effect.We analyzed both optical and radar astrometry for all numbered Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), as well as several un-numbered NEAs. In order to quantify the likelihood of Yarkovsky detections, we developed a metric based on the quality of Yarkovsky fits as compared to that of gravity-only fits. Based on the metric results, we report 167 objects with measured Yarkovsky drifts.Our Yarkovsky sample is the largest published set of such detections, and presents an opportunity to examine the physical properties of these NEAs and the Yarkovsky effect in a statistical manner. In particular, we confirm the Yarkovsky effect's theoretical size dependence of 1/D, where D is diameter. We also examine the efficiency with which this effect converts absorbed light into orbital drift. Using our set of 167 objects, we find typical efficiences of around 5%. This efficiency can be used to place bounds on spin and thermal properties. We report the ratio of positive to negative drift rates and interpret this ratio in terms of prograde/retrograde rotators and main belt escape mechanisms. The observed ratio has a probability of 1 in 9 million of occurring by chance, which confirms the presence of a non-gravitational influence. We examine how the presence of radar data affect the strength and precision of our detections. We find that, on average, the precision of radar+optical detections improves by a factor of approximately 1.6 for each additional apparition with ranging data compared to that of optical-only solutions.

  16. The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission: Discovery, Tracking, and Characterization of Asteroids, Comets, and Artificial Satellites with a Microsatellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, A. R.; Carroll, K. A.; Balam, D. D.; Cardinal, R. D.; Matthews, J. M.; Kuschnig, R.; Walker, G. A. H.; Brown, P. G.; Tedesco, E. F.; Worden, S. P.

    2001-01-01

    The Near-Earth Space Surveillance (NESS) Mission, a microsatellite dedicated to observing near-Earth (NEO) and interior-to-the-Earth (IEO)asteroids and comets plus artificial satellites, is currently being studied under contract to the Canadian Space Agency. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  17. NASA's Human Mission to a Near-Earth Asteroid: Landing on a Moving Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeffrey H.; Lincoln, William P.; Weisbin, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a Bayesian approach for comparing the productivity and cost-risk tradeoffs of sending versus not sending one or more robotic surveyor missions prior to a human mission to land on an asteroid. The expected value of sample information based on productivity combined with parametric variations in the prior probability an asteroid might be found suitable for landing were used to assess the optimal number of spacecraft and asteroids to survey. The analysis supports the value of surveyor missions to asteroids and indicates one launch with two spacecraft going simultaneously to two independent asteroids appears optimal.

  18. NEOCAM: Near Earth Object Chemical Analysis Mission: Bridging the Gulf between Telescopic Observations and the Chemical and Mineralogical Compositions of Asteroids or Diogenes A: Diagnostic Observation of the Geology of Near Earth Spectrally-Classified Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuth, Joseph A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies of meteorites have yielded a wealth of scientific information based on highly detailed chemical and isotopic studies possible only in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories. Telescopic studies have revealed an enormous (greater than 10(exp 5)) number of physical objects ranging in size from a few tens of meters to several hundred kilometers, orbiting not only in the traditional asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but also throughout the inner solar system. Many of the largest asteroids are classed into taxonomic groups based on their observed spectral properties and are designated as C, D. X, S or V types (as well as a wide range in sub-types). These objects are certainly the sources far the meteorites in our laboratories, but which asteroids are the sources for which meteorites? Spectral classes are nominally correlated to the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the asteroid itself based on studies of the spectral changes induced in meteorites due to exposure to a simulated space environment. While laboratory studies have produced some notable successes (e.g. the identification of the asteroid Vesta as the source of the H, E and D meteorite classes), it is unlikely that we have samples of each asteroidal spectral type in our meteorite collection. The correlation of spectral type and composition for many objects will therefore remain uncertain until we can return samples of specific asteroid types to Earth for analyses. The best candidates for sample return are asteroids that already come close to the Earth. Asteroids in orbit near 1 A.U. have been classified into three groups (Aten, Apollo & Amor) based on their orbital characteristics. These Near Earth Objects (NEOs) contain representatives of virtually all spectral types and sub-types of the asteroid population identified to date. Because of their close proximity to Earth, NEOs are prime targets for asteroid missions such as the NEAR-Shoemaker NASA Discovery Mission to Eros and the

  19. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: In 2009 the Augustine Commission identified near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. NEA Space-Based Survey and Robotic Precursor Missions: The most suitable targets for human missions are NEAs in Earth-like orbits with long synodic periods. However, these mission candidates are often not observable from Earth until the timeframe of their most favorable human mission opportunities, which does not provide an appropriate amount of time for mission development. A space-based survey telescope could more efficiently find these targets in a timely, affordable manner. Such a system is not only able to discover new objects, but also track and characterize objects of interest for human space flight consideration. Those objects with characteristic signatures representative of volatile-rich or metallic materials will be considered as top candidates for further investigation due to their potential for resource utilization and scientific discovery. Once suitable candidates have been identified, precursor spacecraft are required to perform basic reconnaissance of a few NEAs under consideration for the human-led mission. Robotic spacecraft will assess targets for potential hazards that may pose a risk to the deep space transportation vehicle, its deployable assets, and the crew. Additionally, the information obtained about the NEA's basic physical characteristics will be crucial for planning operational activities, designing in-depth scientific/engineering investigations, and identifying sites on the NEA for sample collection. Human Exploration

  20. BILLIARDS: A Demonstration Mission for Hundred-Meter Class Near Earth Asteroid Disruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent W.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, no planetary defense demonstration mission has ever been flown. While Nuclear Explosive Devices (NEDs) have significantly more energy than a kinetic impactor launched directly from Earth, they present safety and political complications, and therefore may only be used when absolutely necessary. The Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector, and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System (BILLIARDS) is a demonstration mission for planetary defense, which is capable of delivering comparable energy to the lower range of NED capabilities in the form of a safer kinetic impactor. A small asteroid (disrupt the larger asteroid. To reduce the cost and complexity, an asteroid pair which has a natural close approach is selected.

  1. Mitigation-relevant science with Don Quijote - a European-led mission to a near-Earth asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A. W.; Galvez, A.; Benz, W.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Green, S. F.; Michel, P.; Valsecchi, G.; Paetzold, M.; Haeusler, B.; Carnelli, I.

    The Don Quijote concept includes a rendezvous spacecraft and an impactor vehicle The main aim of the mission is to carry out an experiment to demonstrate the modification of a near-Earth asteroid s orbit in a controlled way as a first step in establishing mitigation measures against an eventual hazardous object In particular the spacecraft would study the physical properties of the target asteroid and the effects of a kinetic impact on its dynamical state It is also expected that some spacecraft resources will be available for more general solar-system science investigations The Don Quijote mission is currently at the phase-A stage during which a number of European consortia of industrial and scientific partners will study its technical feasibility and potential scientific return The basic mission concept current scientific issues and the possibilities for international participation in the mission will be discussed

  2. Collisional fragmentation of asteroids and its implication on the physical properties of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, P.

    Collisions are at the origin of catastrophic disruptions in the asteroid Main Belt. This is witnessed by the observation of asteroid families, each composed of asteroids which originated from a single parent body, broken-up by a collision with another asteroid. Understanding the collisional process and its outcome properties is not only necessary in order to study the collisional evolution of small body population or the planetary formation, it is also strongly required in the context of mitigation strategies aimed at deviating a threatening asteroid. In the last three years, for the first time we have successfully performed numerical simulations of high speed collisions between small bodies which account for the production of gravitationally reaccumulated bodies. More precisely, we have developped a procedure which divides the process into two phases. Using a 3D SPH hydrocode, the fragmentation of the solid target through crack propagation is first computed. Then the simulation of the gravitational evolution and possible piecewise reaccumulation of the parent body is performed using the parallel N-body code pkdgrav. Our first simulations using monolithic parent bodies have succeeded in reproducing fundamental properties of some well-identified asteroid families, showing that gravitational re-accumulations following disruptive collisions are the key process accounting for the existence of asteroid families. Then, we have investigated the effect of the internal structure of the parent body on the outcome properties. We have thus shown that family parent bodies are likely to have already been pre-shattered by small impacts before being disrupted by a major event. We then suggested that the most likely internal structure of large asteroids in the main belt is not monolithic but rather composed of macroscopic fractures and voids. We will make a review of these simulations in three different impact regimes, from highly catastrophic to barely disruptive. In particular we

  3. New candidates for active asteroids: Main-belt (145) Adeona, (704) Interamnia, (779) Nina, (1474) Beira, and near-Earth (162,173) Ryugu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busarev, Vladimir V.; Makalkin, Andrei B.; Vilas, Faith; Barabanov, Sergey I.; Scherbina, Marina P.

    2018-04-01

    For the first time, spectral signs of subtle coma activity were observed for four main-belt primitive asteroids (145) Adeona, (704) Interamnia, (779) Nina, and (1474) Beira around their perihelion distances in September 2012, which were interpreted as manifestations of the sublimation of H2O ice in/under the surface matter (Busarev et al., 2015a, 2015b). We confirm the phenomenon for Nina when it approached perihelion in September 2016. At the same time, based on results of spectral observations of near-Earth asteroid (162,173) Ryugu (Vilas, 2008) being a target of Japan's Hayabusa 2 space mission, we suspected a periodic similar transient activity on the Cg-type asteroid. However, unlike the main-belt primitive asteroids demonstrating sublimation of ices close to their perihelion distances, the effect on Ryugu was apparently registered near aphelion. To explain the difference, we calculated the subsolar temperature depending on heliocentric distance of the asteroids, considered qualitative models of internal structure of main-belt and near-Earth primitive asteroids including ice and performed some analytical estimations. Presumed temporal sublimation/degassing activity of Ryugu is a sign of a residual frozen core in its interior. This could be an indication of a relatively recent transition of the asteroid from the main asteroid belt to the near-Earth area.

  4. Radar and optical observations and physical modeling of near-Earth Asteroid 10115 (1992 SK)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Busch, M.; Ostro, S. J.; Benner, L. A. M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Jurgens, R. F.; Rose, R.; Magri, C.; Pravec, Petr; Scheeres, D.J.; Broschart, S.B.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 181, č. 1 (2006), s. 145-155 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604; GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * radar * rotation Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.151, year: 2006

  5. Near-Earth asteroid (3200) Phaethon: Characterization of its orbit, spin state, and thermophysical parameters

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanuš, J.; Delbo, M.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Pravec, Petr; Emery, J.P.; Ali-Lagoa, V.; Bolin, B.; Devogele, M.; Dyvig, R.; Galád, A.; Jedicke, R.; Kornoš, L.; Kušnirák, Peter; Licandro, J.; Reddy, V.; Rivet, J.-P.; Világi, J.; Warner, B. D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 592, August (2016), A34/1-A34/15 ISSN 0004-6361 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0229 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : minor planets * asteroids * photometric techniques Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 4.378, year: 2014

  6. Retrograde spins of near-Earth asteroids from the Yarkovsky effect

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    La Spina, A.; Paolicchi, P.; Kryszczynska, A.; Pravec, Petr

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 428, č. 6981 (2004), s. 400-401 ISSN 0028-0836 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : asteroid spins * dynamics Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 32.182, year: 2004

  7. Keck observations of near-Earth asteroids in the thermal infrared

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Delbó, M.; Harris, A. W.; Binzel, R. P.; Pravec, Petr; Davies, J. K.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 166, č. 1 (2003), s. 116-130 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204; GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : asteroids * infrared observtions * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.611, year: 2003

  8. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Reeves, David; Drake, Bret; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth- Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. The scientific and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a mission to a NEA using NASA s proposed exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  9. Human Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: An Update on NASA's Current Status and Proposed Activities for Small Body Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Larman, K. T.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on the human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010.

  10. Formation of the wide asynchronous binary asteroid population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, Daniel J.; McMahon, Jay

    2014-01-01

    We propose and analyze a new mechanism for the formation of the wide asynchronous binary population. These binary asteroids have wide semimajor axes relative to most near-Earth and main belt asteroid systems. Confirmed members have rapidly rotating primaries and satellites that are not tidally locked. Previously suggested formation mechanisms from impact ejecta, from planetary flybys, and directly from rotational fission events cannot satisfy all of the observations. The newly hypothesized mechanism works as follows: (1) these systems are formed from rotational fission, (2) their satellites are tidally locked, (3) their orbits are expanded by the binary Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (BYORP) effect, (4) their satellites desynchronize as a result of the adiabatic invariance between the libration of the secondary and the mutual orbit, and (5) the secondary avoids resynchronization because of the YORP effect. This seemingly complex chain of events is a natural pathway for binaries with satellites that have particular shapes, which define the BYORP effect torque that acts on the system. After detailing the theory, we analyze each of the wide asynchronous binary members and candidates to assess their most likely formation mechanism. Finally, we suggest possible future observations to check and constrain our hypothesis.

  11. Solar Torque Management for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout CubeSat Using Center of Mass Position Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orphee, Juan; Heaton, Andrew; Diedrich, Ben; Stiltner, Brandon C.

    2018-01-01

    A novel mechanism, the Active Mass Translator (AMT), has been developed for the NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission to autonomously manage the spacecraft momentum. The NEA Scout CubeSat will launch as a secondary payload onboard Exploration Mission 1 of the Space Launch System. To accomplish its mission, the CubeSat will be propelled by an 86 square-meter solar sail during its two-year journey to reach asteroid 1991VG. NEA Scout's primary attitude control system uses reaction wheels for holding attitude and performing slew maneuvers, while a cold gas reaction control system performs the initial detumble and early trajectory correction maneuvers. The AMT control system requirements, feedback architecture, and control performance will be presented. The AMT reduces the amount of reaction control propellant needed for momentum management and allows for smaller capacity reaction wheels suitable for the limited 6U spacecraft volume. The reduced spacecraft mass allows higher in-space solar sail acceleration, thus reducing time-of-flight. The reduced time-of-flight opens the range of possible missions, which is limited by the lifetime of typical non-radiation tolerant CubeSat avionics exposed to the deep-space environment.

  12. Lessons for Interstellar Travel from the Guidance and Control Design of the Near Earth Asteroid Scout Solar Sail Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Benjamin; Heaton, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission that will use a solar sail to travel to an asteroid where it will perform a slow flyby to acquire science imagery. A guidance and control system was developed to meet the science and trajectory requirements. The NEA Scout design process can be applied to an interstellar or precursor mission that uses a beam propelled sail. The scientific objectives are met by accurately targeting the destination trajectory position and velocity. The destination is targeted by understanding the force on the sail from the beam (or sunlight in the case of NEA Scout) over the duration of the thrust maneuver. The propulsive maneuver is maintained by accurate understanding of the torque on the sail, which is a function of sail shape, optical properties, and mass properties, all of which apply to NEA Scout and beam propelled sails. NEA Scout uses active control of the sail attitude while trimming the solar torque, which could be used on a beamed propulsion sail if necessary. The biggest difference is that NEA Scout can correct for uncertainties in sail thrust modeling, spacecraft orbit, and target orbit throughout the flight to the target, while beamed propulsion needs accurate operation for the short duration of the beamed propulsion maneuver, making accurate understanding of the sail thrust and orbits much more critical.

  13. Goldstone radar imaging of near-Earth asteroids (469896) 2007 WV4, 2014 JO25, 2017 BQ6, and 2017 CS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidu, S.; Benner, L.; Brozovic, M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Busch, M.; Jao, J. S.; Lee, C. G.; Snedeker, L. G.; Silva, M. A.; Slade, M. A.; Lawrence, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present Goldstone radar imaging of four near-Earth asteroids during Feb-Jun 2017. The signal-to-noise ratios were very strong for each object and we obtained detailed images with range resolutions as fine as 3.75 m/pixel. 2017 BQ6 was discovered on Jan 26 and approached Earth within 6.5 lunar distances on Feb 7. Radar images show that it is a strikingly angular object roughly 200 m in diameter with a rotation period of 3 h. Its multi-faceted shape challenges the expectation that it is a rubble pile. 2017 CS was discovered on Feb 2 and approached within 8 lunar distances on May 29. It appears rounded on large scales but has considerable fine-scale topography evident along its leading edges. The images suggest a diameter of 1 km and a spin period consistent with the 40 h period obtained from photometry by P. Pravec (pers. comm.). The highest resolution images show evidence for meter-size boulders, ridges, and broad concavities. 2007 WV4 was imaged in late May and early June, has a diameter of 900 meters, and appears distinctly angular with at least three large facets > 100 m in extent. Tracking of features in the images gives a rotation period of about 12 hours. 2014 JO25 approached within 4.6 lunar distances on April 19. This was the closest encounter by an asteroid with an absolute magnitude brighter than 18 known in advance until 2027, when 1999 AN10 will approach within one lunar distance. Radar imaging shows that 2014 JO25 is an irregular object, consisting of two components connected by a narrow neck. The asteroid has pole on dimensions of roughly 1 x 0.6 km in the images. Imaging with 3.75 m/pixel resolution places thousands of pixels on the object and reveals ridges, concavities, flat regions up to 200 meters long, and radar-bright spots suggestive of boulders. Tracking of features in the images yields a rotation period of about 4.5 hours that is among the fastest of the 50 known contact binaries in the near-Earth population.

  14. PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ∼2 m DIAMETER NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID 2015 TC25: A POSSIBLE BOULDER FROM E-TYPE ASTEROID (44) NYSA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A.; Bottke, William F.; Thirouin, Audrey; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Kelley, Michael S.; Ryan, William; Cloutis, Edward A.; Tegler, Stephen C.; Ryan, Eileen V.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Richardson, James E.; Le Corre, Lucille; Moskovitz, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) (<20 m) are interesting, because they are progenitors for meteorites in our terrestrial collection. The physical characteristics of these small NEAs are crucial to our understanding of the effectiveness of our atmosphere in filtering low-strength impactors. In the past, the characterization of small NEAs has been a challenge, because of the difficulty in detecting them prior to close Earth flyby. In this study, we physically characterized the 2 m diameter NEA 2015 TC25 using ground-based optical, near-infrared and radar assets during a close flyby of the Earth (distance 128,000 km) in 2015 October 12. Our observations suggest that its surface composition is similar to aubrites, a rare class of high-albedo differentiated meteorites. Aubrites make up only 0.14% of all known meteorites in our terrestrial meteorite collection. 2015 TC25 is also a very fast rotator with a period of 133 ± 6 s. We combined the spectral and dynamical properties of 2015 TC25 and found the best candidate source body in the inner main belt to be the 70 km diameter E-type asteroid (44) Nysa. We attribute the difference in spectral slope between the two objects to the lack of regolith on the surface of 2015 TC25. Using the albedo of E-type asteroids (50%–60%) we refine the diameter of 2015 TC25 to 2 m, making it one of the smallest NEAs ever to be characterized.

  15. PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ∼2 m DIAMETER NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID 2015 TC25: A POSSIBLE BOULDER FROM E-TYPE ASTEROID (44) NYSA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A.; Bottke, William F.; Thirouin, Audrey; Rivera-Valentin, Edgard G.; Kelley, Michael S.; Ryan, William; Cloutis, Edward A.; Tegler, Stephen C.; Ryan, Eileen V.; Taylor, Patrick A.; Richardson, James E.; Le Corre, Lucille [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Moskovitz, Nicholas [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) (<20 m) are interesting, because they are progenitors for meteorites in our terrestrial collection. The physical characteristics of these small NEAs are crucial to our understanding of the effectiveness of our atmosphere in filtering low-strength impactors. In the past, the characterization of small NEAs has been a challenge, because of the difficulty in detecting them prior to close Earth flyby. In this study, we physically characterized the 2 m diameter NEA 2015 TC25 using ground-based optical, near-infrared and radar assets during a close flyby of the Earth (distance 128,000 km) in 2015 October 12. Our observations suggest that its surface composition is similar to aubrites, a rare class of high-albedo differentiated meteorites. Aubrites make up only 0.14% of all known meteorites in our terrestrial meteorite collection. 2015 TC25 is also a very fast rotator with a period of 133 ± 6 s. We combined the spectral and dynamical properties of 2015 TC25 and found the best candidate source body in the inner main belt to be the 70 km diameter E-type asteroid (44) Nysa. We attribute the difference in spectral slope between the two objects to the lack of regolith on the surface of 2015 TC25. Using the albedo of E-type asteroids (50%–60%) we refine the diameter of 2015 TC25 to 2 m, making it one of the smallest NEAs ever to be characterized.

  16. Binaries and triples among asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Galád, Adrián

    2015-08-01

    Despite major achievements obtained during the past two decades, our knowledge of the population and properties of small binary and multiple asteroid systems is still far from advanced. There is a numerous indirect evidence for that most small asteroid systems were formed by rotational fission of cohesionless parent asteroids that were spun up to the critical frequency presumably by YORP, but details of the process are lacking. Furthermore, as we proceed with observations of more and more binary and paired asteroids, we reveal new facts that substantially refine and sometimes change our understanding of the asteroid systems. One significant new finding we have recently obtained is that primaries of many asteroid pairs are actually binary or triple systems. The first such case found is (3749) Balam (Vokrouhlický, ApJL 706, L37, 2009). We have found 9 more binary systems among asteroid pairs within our ongoing NEOSource photometric project since October 2012. They are (6369) 1983 UC, (8306) Shoko, (9783) Tensho-kan, (10123) Fideoja, (21436) Chaoyichi, (43008) 1999 UD31, (44620) 1999 RS43, (46829) 1998 OS14 and (80218) 1999 VO123. We will review their characteristics. These paired binaries as we call them are mostly similar to binaries in the general ("background") population (of unpaired asteroids), but there are a few trends. The paired binaries tend to have larger secondaries with D_2/D_1 = 0.3 to 0.5 and they also tend to be wider systems with 8 of the 10 having orbital periods between 30 and 81 hours, than average among binaries in the general population. There may be also a larger fraction of triples; (3749) Balam is a confirmed triple, having a larger close and a smaller distant satellite, and (8306) Shoko and (10123) Fideoja are suspect triples as they show additional rotational lightcurve components with periods of 61 and 38.8 h that differ from the orbital period of 36.2 and 56.5 h, respectively. The unbound secondaries tend to be of the same size or

  17. Spectral analysis and compositing techniques for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR Shoemaker), X-ray and Gamma-Ray Spectrometers (XGRS)

    CERN Document Server

    McClanahan, T P; Nittler, L R; Boynton, W V; Bruckner, J; Squyres, S W; Evans, L G; Bhangoo, J S; Clark, P E; Floyd, S R; McCartney, E; Mikheeva, I; Starr, R D

    2001-01-01

    An X-ray and Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) is on board the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft to determine the elemental composition of the surface of the asteroid 433 Eros. The Eros asteroid is highly oblate and irregular in shape. As a result, analysis methodologies are in many ways a divergence from comparable techniques. Complex temporal, spatial and instrument performance relationships must be accounted for during the analysis process. Field of view and asteroid surface geometry measurements must be modeled and then combined with real measurements of solar, spectral and instrument calibration information to derive scientific results. NEAR is currently orbiting 433 Eros and is in the initial phases of its primary data integration and mapping phases. Initial results have been obtained and bulk chemistry assessments have been obtained through specialized background assessment and data reduction techniques.

  18. Goldstone radar images of near-Earth asteroids (469896) 2007 WV4, 2014 JO25, 2017 BQ6, and 2017 CS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozovic, Marina; Benner, Lance A. M.; Naidu, Shantanu P.; Giorgini, Jon D.; Busch, Michael; Jao, Joseph; Lee, Clement; Snedeker, Lawrence; Silva, Marc; Slade, Martin A.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.

    2017-10-01

    regions up to 200 meters long, and radar-bright spots that are probably boulders. Tracking of features in the images yields a rotation period of about 4.5 hours that is among the fastest of the ~50 known contact binaries in the near-Earth population.

  19. 280 one-opposition near-Earth asteroids recovered by the EURONEAR with the Isaac Newton Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaduvescu, O.; Hudin, L.; Mocnik, T.; Char, F.; Sonka, A.; Tudor, V.; Ordonez-Etxeberria, I.; Díaz Alfaro, M.; Ashley, R.; Errmann, R.; Short, P.; Moloceniuc, A.; Cornea, R.; Inceu, V.; Zavoianu, D.; Popescu, M.; Curelaru, L.; Mihalea, S.; Stoian, A.-M.; Boldea, A.; Toma, R.; Fields, L.; Grigore, V.; Stoev, H.; Lopez-Martinez, F.; Humphries, N.; Sowicka, P.; Ramanjooloo, Y.; Manilla-Robles, A.; Riddick, F. C.; Jimenez-Lujan, F.; Mendez, J.; Aceituno, F.; Sota, A.; Jones, D.; Hidalgo, S.; Murabito, S.; Oteo, I.; Bongiovanni, A.; Zamora, O.; Pyrzas, S.; Génova-Santos, R.; Font, J.; Bereciartua, A.; Perez-Fournon, I.; Martínez-Vázquez, C. E.; Monelli, M.; Cicuendez, L.; Monteagudo, L.; Agulli, I.; Bouy, H.; Huélamo, N.; Monguió, M.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Steeghs, D.; Gentile-Fusillo, N. P.; Hollands, M. A.; Toloza, O.; Manser, C. J.; Dhillon, V.; Sahman, D.; Fitzsimmons, A.; McNeill, A.; Thompson, A.; Tabor, M.; Murphy, D. N. A.; Davies, J.; Snodgrass, C.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Groot, P. J.; Macfarlane, S.; Peletier, R.; Sen, S.; İkiz, T.; Hoekstra, H.; Herbonnet, R.; Köhlinger, F.; Greimel, R.; Afonso, A.; Parker, Q. A.; Kong, A. K. H.; Bassa, C.; Pleunis, Z.

    2018-01-01

    Context. One-opposition near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are growing in number, and they must be recovered to prevent loss and mismatch risk, and to improve their orbits, as they are likely to be too faint for detection in shallow surveys at future apparitions. Aims: We aimed to recover more than half of the one-opposition NEAs recommended for observations by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) using the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) in soft-override mode and some fractions of available D-nights. During about 130 h in total between 2013 and 2016, we targeted 368 NEAs, among which 56 potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), observing 437 INT Wide Field Camera (WFC) fields and recovering 280 NEAs (76% of all targets). Methods: Engaging a core team of about ten students and amateurs, we used the THELI, Astrometrica, and the Find_Orb software to identify all moving objects using the blink and track-and-stack method for the faintest targets and plotting the positional uncertainty ellipse from NEODyS. Results: Most targets and recovered objects had apparent magnitudes centered around V 22.8 mag, with some becoming as faint as V 24 mag. One hundred and three objects (representing 28% of all targets) were recovered by EURONEAR alone by Aug. 2017. Orbital arcs were prolonged typically from a few weeks to a few years; our oldest recoveries reach 16 years. The O-C residuals for our 1854 NEA astrometric positions show that most measurements cluster closely around the origin. In addition to the recovered NEAs, 22 000 positions of about 3500 known minor planets and another 10 000 observations of about 1500 unknown objects (mostly main-belt objects) were promptly reported to the MPC by our team. Four new NEAs were discovered serendipitously in the analyzed fields and were promptly secured with the INT and other telescopes, while two more NEAs were lost due to extremely fast motion and lack of rapid follow-up time. They increase the counting to nine NEAs discovered by the EURONEAR in 2014 and

  20. Photometric survey of asynchronous binary asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Kotková, Lenka; Mottola, S.; Hahn, G.; Brown, P.; Esquerdo, G.; Kaiser, K.; Krzeminski, Z.; Pray, D. P.; Warner, B. D.; Harris, A. W.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Benner, L. A. M.; Margot, J. L.; Galád, Adrián; Holliday, W.; Hicks, M. D.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Tholen, D.; Whiteley, R.; Marchis, F.; DeGraff, D. R.; Grauer, A.; Larson, S. M.; Velichko, F. P.; Cooney, W.R.; Stephens, R.; Zhu, J.; Kirsch, K.; Dyvig, R.; Snyder, L.; Reddy, V.; Moore, S.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.; Masi, G.; Higgins, D.; Funkhouser, G. M.; Knight, B.; Slivan, S. M.; Behrend, R.; Grenon, M.; Burki, G.; Roy, R.; Demeautis, C.; Matter, D.; Waelchli, N.; Revaz, Y.; Klotz, A.; Rieugné, M.; Thieri, P.; Cotrez, V.; Brunetto, L.; Kober, G.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 181, č. 1 (2006), s. 63-93 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/05/0604; GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * binary * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.151, year: 2006

  1. Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS): A Space-Based System Concept for Revolutionizing Earth Protection and Utilization of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Antol, Jeffrey; Kay-Bunnell, Linda; Werner, Martin R.; Park, Sang-Young; Kumar, Renjith R.

    2002-01-01

    There exists an infrequent, but significant hazard to life and property due to impacting asteroids and comets. There is currently no specific search for long-period comets, smaller near-Earth asteroids, or smaller short-period comets. These objects represent a threat with potentially little or no warning time using conventional ground-based telescopes. These planetary bodies also represent a significant resource for commercial exploitation, long-term sustained space exploration, and scientific research. The Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS) would expand the current detection effort to include long-period comets, as well as small asteroids and short-period comets capable of regional destruction. A space-based detection system, despite being more costly and complex than Earth-based initiatives, is the most promising way of expanding the range of detectable objects, and surveying the entire celestial sky on a regular basis. CAPS is a future spacebased system concept that provides permanent, continuous asteroid and comet monitoring, and rapid, controlled modification of the orbital trajectories of selected bodies. CAPS would provide an orbit modification system capable of diverting kilometer class objects, and modifying the orbits of smaller asteroids for impact defense and resource utilization. This paper provides a summary of CAPS and discusses several key areas and technologies that are being investigated.

  2. Formation and Evolution of Binary Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, K. J.; Jacobson, S. A.

    Satellites of asteroids have been discovered in nearly every known small-body population, and a remarkable aspect of the known satellites is the diversity of their properties. They tell a story of vast differences in formation and evolution mechanisms that act as a function of size, distance from the Sun, and the properties of their nebular environment at the beginning of solar system history and their dynamical environment over the next 4.5 G.y. The mere existence of these systems provides a laboratory to study numerous types of physical processes acting on asteroids, and their dynamics provide a valuable probe of their physical properties otherwise possible only with spacecraft. Advances in understanding the formation and evolution of binary systems have been assisted by (1) the growing catalog of known systems, increasing from 33 to ~250 between the Merline et al. (2002) chapter in Asteroids III and now; (2) the detailed study and long-term monitoring of individual systems such as 1999 KW4 and 1996 FG3, (3) the discovery of new binary system morphologies and triple systems, (4) and the discovery of unbound systems that appear to be end-states of binary dynamical evolutionary paths. Specifically for small bodies (diameter smaller than 10 km), these observations and discoveries have motivated theoretical work finding that thermal forces can efficiently drive the rotational disruption of small asteroids. Long-term monitoring has allowed studies to constrain the system's dynamical evolution by the combination of tides, thermal forces, and rigid-body physics. The outliers and split pairs have pushed the theoretical work to explore a wide range of evolutionary end-states.

  3. Near Earth Objects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolff, Stefan

    2006-01-01

    , Near Earth Objects: Asteroids and comets following paths that bring them near the Earth. NEOs have collided with the Earth since its formation, some causing local devastation, some causing global climate changes, yet the threat from a collision with a near Earth object has only recently been recognised...... and accepted. The European Space Agency mission Gaia is a proposed space observatory, designed to perform a highly accurate census of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and beyond. Through accurate measurement of star positions, Gaia is expected to discover thousands of extra-solar planets and follow the bending...... of starlight by the Sun, and therefore directly observe the structure of space-time. This thesis explores several aspects of the observation of NEOs with Gaia, emphasising detection of NEOs and the quality of orbits computed from Gaia observations. The main contribution is the work on motion detection...

  4. Dependence of Polarization of the near-Earth Asteroids (1036) Ganymed and (5143) Heracles on Wavelength and Phase Angle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maleszewski, C.; McMillan, R.; Smith, P.

    2012-12-01

    We are measuring the polarization of asteroids with the SPOL polarimeter of Steward Observatory. With monthly access to the instrument, we can obtain many observations throughout phase angle. This is in contrast to other recent work that had to rely on aggregate properties of targets of similar taxonomic type. Comparing individual objects to these aggregate results may reveal differences of regolith properties from object to object. Both the phase angle and spectral dependence of polarization are being measured. SPOL provides simultaneous coverage from 0.40-0.75 microns, equivalent to BVR filters. Three phase curves thus reveal differences of phase angle dependences with respect to wavelength. The spectral dependence of the linear polarization is determined according to a linear trend previously used to describe the dependence for Main Belt Asteroids (MBAs) in various taxonomic classes (Belskaya et al. 2009). The slopes of these linear trends vs. phase angle are also investigated as was also done in the Belskaya analysis for MBAs in the C-, M-, and S-types. Two initial objects of interest are the NEAs (1036) Ganymed and (5143) Heracles. The taxonomic types of Ganymed and Heracles are S-type and Q-type respectively (DeMeo et al. 2009). For Ganymed, twelve observations were made between 2011 September and 2012 March. These include observations below ten degrees phase angle, which are currently lacking in the polarimetric databases. The positive branch of Ganymed's polarization phase curve behaved similarly across SPOL's wavelength range. But for wavelengths associated with a typical B-filter, the negative branch is more shallow and narrow. The negative phase branch of Ganymed is smaller compared to the aggregate phase curve of S-types determined by Gil-Hutton and Cañada-Assandri (2011). The linear polarization decreases with increasing wavelength at all observed phase angles. As the phase angle increases, the slope of the wavelength dependence of polarization

  5. Grid-Free 2D Plasma Simulations of the Complex Interaction Between the Solar Wind and Small, Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, M. I.; Farrell, W. M.; Poppe, A. R.

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a new grid-free 2D plasma simulation code applied to a small, unmagnetized body immersed in the streaming solar wind plasma. The body was purposely modeled as an irregular shape in order to examine photoemission and solar wind plasma flow in high detail on the dayside, night-side, terminator and surface-depressed 'pocket' regions. Our objective is to examine the overall morphology of the various plasma interaction regions that form around a small body like a small near-Earth asteroid (NEA). We find that the object obstructs the solar wind flow and creates a trailing wake region downstream, which involves the interplay between surface charging and ambipolar plasma expansion. Photoemission is modeled as a steady outflow of electrons from illuminated portions of the surface, and under direct illumination the surface forms a non-monotonic or ''double-sheath'' electric potential upstream of the body, which is important for understanding trajectories and equilibria of lofted dust grains in the presence of a complex asteroid geometry. The largest electric fields are found at the terminators, where ambipolar plasma expansion in the body-sized night-side wake merges seamlessly with the thin photoelectric sheath on the dayside. The pocket regions are found to be especially complex, with nearby sunlit regions of positive potential electrically connected to unlit negative potentials and forming adjacent natural electric dipoles. For objects near the surface, we find electrical dissipation times (through collection of local environmental solar wind currents) that vary over at least 5 orders of magnitude: from 39 Micro(s) inside the near-surface photoelectron cloud under direct sunlight to less than 1 s inside the particle-depleted night-side wake and shadowed pocket regions

  6. Industrializing the near-earth asteroids: Speculations on human activities in space in the latter half of the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sercel, Joel C.

    1990-01-01

    The use of solar system resources for human industry can be viewed as a natural extension of the continual growth of our species' habitat. Motivations for human activities in space can be discussed in terms of five distinct areas: (1) information processing and collection; (2) materials processing; (3) energy production to meet terrestrial power needs; (4) the use of extraterrestrial materials; and (5) disaster avoidance. When considering 21st-Century activities in space, each of these basic motivations must be treated in light of issues likely to be relevant to the 21st-Century earth. Many of the problems facing 21st-Century earth may stem from the need to maintain the world population of 8 to 10 billion people as is projected from expected growth rates. These problems are likely to include managing the impact of industrial processes on the terrestrial biosphere while providing adequate energy production and material goods for the growing population. The most important human activities in space in the latter half of the 21st Century may be associated with harnessing the resources of the near-earth asteroids for industrial processes. These above topics are discussed with an emphasis on space industrialization.

  7. A New Equilibrium State for Singly Synchronous Binary Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golubov, Oleksiy; Unukovych, Vladyslav; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2018-04-01

    The evolution of rotation states of small asteroids is governed by the Yarkovsky–O’Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack (YORP) effect, nonetheless some asteroids can stop their YORP evolution by attaining a stable equilibrium. The same is true for binary asteroids subjected to the binary YORP (BYORP) effect. Here we discuss a new type of equilibrium that combines these two, which is possible in a singly synchronous binary system. This equilibrium occurs when the normal YORP, the tangential YORP, and the BYORP compensate each other, and tidal torques distribute the angular momentum between the components of the system and dissipate energy. If unperturbed, such a system would remain singly synchronous in perpetuity with constant spin and orbit rates, as the tidal torques dissipate the incoming energy from impinging sunlight at the same rate. The probability of the existence of this kind of equilibrium in a binary system is found to be on the order of a few percent.

  8. Binary asteroid population. 1. Angular momentum content

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 190, č. 1 (2007), s. 250-259 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * satellites of asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.869, year: 2007

  9. Candidate Binary Trojan and Hilda Asteroids from Rotational Light Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnett, Sarah M.; Mainzer, Amy K.; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph R.; Bauer, James M.; Kramer, Emily A.

    2017-10-01

    Jovian Trojans (hereafter, Trojans) are asteroids in stable orbits at Jupiter's L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and Hilda asteroids are inwards of the Trojans in 3:2 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter. Due to their special dynamical properties, observationally constraining the formation location and dynamical histories of Trojans and HIldas offers key input for giant planet migration models. A fundamental parameter in assessing formation location is the bulk density - with low-density objects associated with an ice-rich formation environment in the outer solar system and high-density objects typically linked to the warmer inner solar system. Bulk density can only be directly measured during a close fly-by or by determining the mutual orbits of binary asteroid systems. With the aim of determining densities for a statistically significant sample of Trojans and Hildas, we are undertaking an observational campaign to confirm and characterize candidate binary asteroids published in Sonnett et al. (2015). These objects were flagged as binary candidates because their large NEOWISE brightness variations imply shapes so elongated that they are not likely explained by a singular equilibrium rubble pile and instead may be two elongated, gravitationally bound asteroids. We are obtaining densely sampled rotational light curves of these possible binaries to search for light curve features diagnostic of binarity and to determine the orbital properties of any confirmed binary systems by modeling the light curve. We compare the We present an update on this follow-up campaign and comment on future steps.

  10. LONG-TERM STABLE EQUILIBRIA FOR SYNCHRONOUS BINARY ASTEROIDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    Synchronous binary asteroids may exist in a long-term stable equilibrium, where the opposing torques from mutual body tides and the binary YORP (BYORP) effect cancel. Interior of this equilibrium, mutual body tides are stronger than the BYORP effect and the mutual orbit semimajor axis expands to the equilibrium; outside of the equilibrium, the BYORP effect dominates the evolution and the system semimajor axis will contract to the equilibrium. If the observed population of small (0.1-10 km diameter) synchronous binaries are in static configurations that are no longer evolving, then this would be confirmed by a null result in the observational tests for the BYORP effect. The confirmed existence of this equilibrium combined with a shape model of the secondary of the system enables the direct study of asteroid geophysics through the tidal theory. The observed synchronous asteroid population cannot exist in this equilibrium if described by the canonical 'monolithic' geophysical model. The 'rubble pile' geophysical model proposed by Goldreich and Sari is sufficient, however it predicts a tidal Love number directly proportional to the radius of the asteroid, while the best fit to the data predicts a tidal Love number inversely proportional to the radius. This deviation from the canonical and Goldreich and Sari models motivates future study of asteroid geophysics. Ongoing BYORP detection campaigns will determine whether these systems are in an equilibrium, and future determination of secondary shapes will allow direct determination of asteroid geophysical parameters.

  11. Space Radiation Cancer, Circulatory Disease and CNS Risks for Near Earth Asteroid and Mars Missions: Uncertainty Estimates for Never-Smokers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Chappell, Lori J.; Wang, Minli; Kim, Myung-Hee

    2011-01-01

    history of smoking exposure has a larger impact on GCR risk estimates than amounts of radiation shielding or age at exposure (amongst adults). Risks for never-smokers compared to the average U.S. population are estimated to be reduced between 30% and 60% dependent on model assumptions. Lung cancer is the major contributor to the reduction for never-smokers, with additional contributions from circulatory diseases and cancers of the stomach, liver, bladder, oral cavity and esophagus, and leukemia. The relative contribution of CNS risks to the overall space radiation detriment is potentially increased for never-smokers such as most astronauts. Problems in estimating risks for former smokers and the influence of second-hand smoke are discussed. Compared to the LET approximation, the new track structure derived radiation quality functions lead to a reduced risk for relativistic energy particles and increased risks for intermediate energy particles. Revised estimates for the number of safe days in space at solar minimum for heavy shielding conditions are described for never-smokers and the average U.S. population. Results show that missions to near Earth asteroids (NEA) or Mars violate NASA's radiation safety standards with the current levels of uncertainties. Greater improvements in risk estimates for never-smokers are possible, and would be dependent on improved understanding of risk transfer models, and elucidating the role of space radiation on the various stages of disease formation (e.g. initiation, promotion, and progression).

  12. Modeling and analysis of periodic orbits around a contact binary asteroid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feng, J.; Noomen, R.; Visser, P.N.A.M.; Yuan, J.

    2015-01-01

    The existence and characteristics of periodic orbits (POs) in the vicinity of a contact binary asteroid are investigated with an averaged spherical harmonics model. A contact binary asteroid consists of two components connected to each other, resulting in a highly bifurcated shape. Here, it is

  13. Mapping Near-Earth Hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-06-01

    How can we hunt down all the near-Earth asteroids that are capable of posing a threat to us? A new study looks at whether the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is up to the job.Charting Nearby ThreatsLSST is an 8.4-m wide-survey telescope currently being built in Chile. When it goes online in 2022, it will spend the next ten years surveying our sky, mapping tens of billions of stars and galaxies, searching for signatures of dark energy and dark matter, and hunting for transient optical events like novae and supernovae. But in its scanning, LSST will also be looking for asteroids that approach near Earth.Cumulative number of near-Earth asteroids discovered over time, as of June 16, 2016. [NASA/JPL/Chamberlin]Near-Earth objects (NEOs) have the potential to be hazardous if they cross Earths path and are large enough to do significant damage when they impact Earth. Earths history is riddled with dangerous asteroid encounters, including the recent Chelyabinsk airburst in 2013, the encounter that caused the kilometer-sized Meteor Crater in Arizona, and the impact thought to contribute to the extinction of the dinosaurs.Recognizing the potential danger that NEOs can pose to Earth, Congress has tasked NASA with tracking down 90% of NEOs larger than 140 meters in diameter. With our current survey capabilities, we believe weve discovered roughly 25% of these NEOs thus far. Now a new study led by Tommy Grav (Planetary Science Institute) examines whether LSST will be able to complete this task.Absolute magnitude, H, of asynthetic NEO population. Though these NEOs are all larger than 140 m, they have a large spread in albedos. [Grav et al. 2016]Can LSST Help?Based on previous observations of NEOs and resulting predictions for NEO properties and orbits, Grav and collaborators simulate a synthetic population of NEOs all above 140 m in size. With these improved population models, they demonstrate that the common tactic of using an asteroids absolute magnitude as a

  14. Near-Earth Objects. Chapter 27

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan W.; Drube, Line; McFadden, Lucy A.; Binzel, Richard P.

    2014-01-01

    A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet orbiting the Sun with a perihelion distance of less than 1.3 Astronomical Units (AU) (1 AU, an astronomical unit, is the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun, around 150 million kilometers). If the orbit of an NEO can bring it to within 0.05 AU of the Earth's orbit, and it is larger than about 120 meters, it is termed a potentially hazardous object (PHO); an object of this size is likely to survive passage through the atmosphere and cause extensive damage on impact. (The acronyms NEA and PHO are used when referring specifically to asteroids.)

  15. Asteroid Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merline, W. J.

    2001-11-01

    Discovery and study of small satellites of asteroids or double asteroids can yield valuable information about the intrinsic properties of asteroids themselves and about their history and evolution. Determination of the orbits of these moons can provide precise masses of the primaries, and hence reliable estimates of the fundamental property of bulk density. This reveals much about the composition and structure of the primary and will allow us to make comparisons between, for example, asteroid taxonomic type and our inventory of meteorites. The nature and prevalence of these systems will also give clues as to the collisional environment in which they formed, and have further implications for the role of collisions in shaping our solar system. A decade ago, binary asteroids were more of a theoretical curiosity. In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft allowed the first undeniable detection of an asteroid moon, with the discovery of Dactyl, a small moon of Ida. Since that time, and particularly in the last year, the number of known binaries has risen dramatically. Previously odd-shaped and lobate near-Earth asteroids, observed by radar, have given way to signatures indicating, almost certainly, that at least four NEAs are binary systems. The tell-tale lightcurves of several other NEAs reveal a high likelihood of being double. Indications are that among the NEAs, there may be a binary frequency of several tens of percent. Among the main-belt asteroids, we now know of 6 confirmed binary systems, although their overall frequency is likely to be low, perhaps a few percent. The detections have largely come about because of significant advances in adaptive optics systems on large telescopes, which can now reduce the blurring of the Earth's atmosphere to compete with the spatial resolution of space-based imaging (which itself, via HST, is now contributing valuable observations). Most of these binary systems have similarities, but there are important exceptions. Searches among other

  16. Asteroids - NeoWs API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NeoWs (Near Earth Object Web Service) is a RESTful web service for near earth Asteroid information. With NeoWs a user can: search for Asteroids based on their...

  17. Ejecta cloud from the AIDA space project kinetic impact on the secondary of a binary asteroid: I. mechanical environment and dynamical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yang; Michel, Patrick; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Naidu, Shantanu P.; Benner, Lance A. M.

    2017-01-01

    An understanding of the post-impact dynamics of ejecta clouds are crucial to the planning of a kinetic impact mission to an asteroid, and also has great implications for the history of planetary formation. The purpose of this article is to track the evolution of ejecta produced by AIDA mission, which targets for kinetic impact the secondary of near-Earth binary asteroid (65803) Didymos on 2022, and to feedback essential informations to AIDA's ongoing phase-A study. We present a detailed dynamic model for the simulation of an ejecta cloud from a binary asteroid that synthesizes all relevant forces based on a previous analysis of the mechanical environment. We apply our method to gain insight into the expected response of Didymos to the AIDA impact, including the subsequent evolution of debris and dust. The crater scaling relations from laboratory experiments are employed to approximate the distributions of ejecta mass and launching speed. The size distribution of fragments is modeled with a power law fitted from observations of real asteroid surface. A full-scale demonstration is simulated using parameters specified by the mission. We report the results of the simulation, which include the computed spread of the ejecta cloud and the recorded history of ejecta accretion and escape. The violent period of the ejecta evolution is found to be short, and is followed by a stage where the remaining ejecta is gradually cleared. Solar radiation pressure proves to be efficient in cleaning dust-size ejecta, and the simulation results after two weeks shows that large debris on polar orbits (perpendicular to the binary orbital plane) has a survival advantage over smaller ejecta and ejecta that keeps to low latitudes.

  18. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchis, F.; Cuk, M. [Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Durech, J. [Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic); Castillo-Rogez, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Vachier, F.; Berthier, J. [IMCCE-Obs de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France); Wong, M. H.; Kalas, P.; Duchene, G. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Van Dam, M. A. [Flat Wavefronts, Christchurch 8140 (New Zealand); Hamanowa, H. [Hamanowa Observatory, Motomiya, Fukushima 969-1204 (Japan); Viikinkoski, M., E-mail: fmarchis@seti.org [Tampere University of Technology, FI-33101 Tampere (Finland)

    2014-03-10

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin.

  19. THE PUZZLING MUTUAL ORBIT OF THE BINARY TROJAN ASTEROID (624) HEKTOR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchis, F.; Cuk, M.; Durech, J.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Vachier, F.; Berthier, J.; Wong, M. H.; Kalas, P.; Duchene, G.; Van Dam, M. A.; Hamanowa, H.; Viikinkoski, M.

    2014-01-01

    Asteroids with satellites are natural laboratories to constrain the formation and evolution of our solar system. The binary Trojan asteroid (624) Hektor is the only known Trojan asteroid to possess a small satellite. Based on W. M. Keck adaptive optics observations, we found a unique and stable orbital solution, which is uncommon in comparison to the orbits of other large multiple asteroid systems studied so far. From lightcurve observations recorded since 1957, we showed that because the large Req = 125 km primary may be made of two joint lobes, the moon could be ejecta of the low-velocity encounter, which formed the system. The inferred density of Hektor's system is comparable to the L5 Trojan doublet (617) Patroclus but due to their difference in physical properties and in reflectance spectra, both captured Trojan asteroids could have a different composition and origin

  20. Near-Earth Object Survey Simulation Software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidu, Shantanu P.; Chesley, Steven R.; Farnocchia, Davide

    2017-10-01

    There is a significant interest in Near-Earth objects (NEOs) because they pose an impact threat to Earth, offer valuable scientific information, and are potential targets for robotic and human exploration. The number of NEO discoveries has been rising rapidly over the last two decades with over 1800 being discovered last year, making the total number of known NEOs >16000. Pan-STARRS and the Catalina Sky Survey are currently the most prolific NEO surveys, having discovered >1600 NEOs between them in 2016. As next generation surveys such as Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the proposed Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) become operational in the next decade, the discovery rate is expected to increase tremendously. Coordination between various survey telescopes will be necessary in order to optimize NEO discoveries and create a unified global NEO discovery network. We are collaborating on a community-based, open-source software project to simulate asteroid surveys to facilitate such coordination and develop strategies for improving discovery efficiency. Our effort so far has focused on development of a fast and efficient tool capable of accepting user-defined asteroid population models and telescope parameters such as a list of pointing angles and camera field-of-view, and generating an output list of detectable asteroids. The software takes advantage of the widely used and tested SPICE library and architecture developed by NASA’s Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (Acton, 1996) for saving and retrieving asteroid trajectories and camera pointing. Orbit propagation is done using OpenOrb (Granvik et al. 2009) but future versions will allow the user to plug in a propagator of their choice. The software allows the simulation of both ground-based and space-based surveys. Performance is being tested using the Grav et al. (2011) asteroid population model and the LSST simulated survey “enigma_1189”.

  1. Autonomous vision-based navigation for proximity operations around binary asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Fernandez, Jesus; Ortega-Hernando, Guillermo

    2018-06-01

    Future missions to small bodies demand higher level of autonomy in the Guidance, Navigation and Control system for higher scientific return and lower operational costs. Different navigation strategies have been assessed for ESA's asteroid impact mission (AIM). The main objective of AIM is the detailed characterization of binary asteroid Didymos. The trajectories for the proximity operations shall be intrinsically safe, i.e., no collision in presence of failures (e.g., spacecraft entering safe mode), perturbations (e.g., non-spherical gravity field), and errors (e.g., maneuver execution error). Hyperbolic arcs with sufficient hyperbolic excess velocity are designed to fulfil the safety, scientific, and operational requirements. The trajectory relative to the asteroid is determined using visual camera images. The ground-based trajectory prediction error at some points is comparable to the camera Field Of View (FOV). Therefore, some images do not contain the entire asteroid. Autonomous navigation can update the state of the spacecraft relative to the asteroid at higher frequency. The objective of the autonomous navigation is to improve the on-board knowledge compared to the ground prediction. The algorithms shall fit in off-the-shelf, space-qualified avionics. This note presents suitable image processing and relative-state filter algorithms for autonomous navigation in proximity operations around binary asteroids.

  2. Binary asteroid population. 3. Secondary rotations and elongations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Galád, Adrián; Naidu, S.P.; Pray, D. P.; Világi, J.; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 267, March (2016), s. 267-295 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/12/0229; GA ČR GA15-07193S Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids * rotation * dynamics Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.131, year: 2016

  3. Period Determination of Binary Asteroid Targets Observed at Hunters Hill Observatory: May-September 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, David; Oey, Julian; Pravec, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Lightcurves for seven confirmed or possible binary asteroids were obtained at the Hunters Hill Observatory (HHO) and Leura Observatory from 2009 May through 2010 September: 1453 Fennia, 2501 Lohja, 3076 Garbor, 4029 Bridges, 5325 Silver, 6244 Okamoto, and (6265) 1985 TW3.

  4. ASPECT CubeSat mission to a binary asteroid

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Näsilä, A.; Tikka, T.; Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Kestilä, A.; Kallio, E.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 88, Special volume (2016), s. 283-283 ISSN 0367-5211. [ Nordic Geological Winter Meeting /32./. 13.01.2016-15.01.2016, Helsinki] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : CubeSat * asteroid * AIDA * reflectance spectra ASPECT Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.geologinenseura.fi/bulletin/Special_Volume_1_2016/BGSF-NGWM2016_Abstract_Volume.pdf

  5. Seven Asteroids Studied from Modra Observatory in the Course of Binary Asteroid Photometric Campaign

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Galád, Adrián; Pravec, Petr; Kornoš, L.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 101, 1-2 (2007), s. 17-25 ISSN 0167-9295 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.558, year: 2007

  6. Orbital and Landing Operations at Near-Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.

    1995-01-01

    Orbital and landing operations about near-Earth asteroids are different than classical orbital operations about large bodies. The major differences lie with the small mass of the asteroid, the lower orbital velocities, the larger Solar tide and radiation pressure perturbations, the irregular shape of the asteroid and the potential for non-uniform rotation of the asteroid. These differences change the nature of orbits about an asteroid to where it is often common to find trajectories that evolve from stable, near-circular orbits to crashing or escaping orbits in a matter of days. The understanding and control of such orbits is important if a human or robotic presence at asteroids is to be commonplace in the future.

  7. Tidal Evolution of Asteroidal Binaries. Ruled by Viscosity. Ignorant of Rigidity

    OpenAIRE

    Efroimsky, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The rate of tidal evolution of asteroidal binaries is defined by the dynamical Love numbers divided by quality factors. Common is the (often illegitimate) approximation of the dynamical Love numbers with their static counterparts. As the static Love numbers are, approximately, proportional to the inverse rigidity, this renders a popular fallacy that the tidal evolution rate is determined by the product of the rigidity by the quality factor: $\\,k_l/Q\\propto 1/(\\mu Q)\\,$. In reality, the dynami...

  8. The Exploration of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets with orbits that intersect or pass near that of our planet. About 400 NEOs are currently known, but the entire population contains perhaps 3000 objects with diameters larger than 1 km. These objects, thought to be similar in many ways to the ancient planetesimal swarms that accreted to form the planets, are interesting and highly accessible targets for scientific research. They carry records of the solar system's birth and the geologic evolution of small bodies in the interplanetary region. Because collisions of NEOs with Earth pose a finite hazard to life, the exploration of these objects is particularly urgent. Devising appropriate risk-avoidance strategies requires quantitative characterization of NEOS. They may also serve as resources for use by future human exploration missions. The scientific goals of a focused NEO exploration program are to determine their orbital distribution, physical characteristics, composition, and origin. Physical characteristics, such as size, shape, and spin properties, have been measured for approximately 80 NEOs using observations at infrared, radar, and visible wavelengths. Mineralogical compositions of a comparable number of NEOs have been inferred from visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. The formation and geologic histories of NEOs and related main-belt asteroids are currently inferred from studies of meteorites and from Galileo and Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft flybys of three main-belt asteroids. Some progress has also been made in associating specific types of meteorites with main-belt asteroids, which probably are the parent bodies of most NEOs. The levels of discovery of NEOs in the future will certainly increase because of the application of new detection systems. The rate of discovery may increase by an order of magnitude, allowing the majority of Earth-crossing asteroids and comets with diameters greater than 1 km to he discovered in the next decade. A

  9. Near-Earth Object (NEO) Hazard Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.

    2005-01-01

    The fundamental problem regarding NEO hazards is that the Earth and other planets, as well as their moons, share the solar system with a vast number of small planetary bodies and orbiting debris. Objects of substantial size are typically classified as either comets or asteroids. Although the solar system is quite expansive, the planets and moons (as well as the Sun) are occasionally impacted by these objects. We live in a cosmic shooting gallery where collisions with Earth occur on a regular basis. Because the number of smaller comets and asteroids is believed to be much greater than larger objects, the frequency of impacts is significantly higher. Fortunately, the smaller objects, which are much more numerous, are usually neutralized by the Earth's protective atmosphere. It is estimated that between 1000 and 10,000 tons of debris fall to Earth each year, most of it in the form of dust particles and extremely small meteorites. With no atmosphere, the Moon's surface is continuously impacted with dust and small debris. On November 17 and 18, 1999, during the annual Leonid meteor shower, several lunar surface impacts were observed by amateur astronomers in North America. The Leonids result from the Earth's passage each year through the debris ejected from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. These annual showers provide a periodic reminder of the possibility of a much more consequential cosmic collision, and the heavily cratered lunar surface acts a constant testimony to the impact threat. The impact problem and those planetary bodies that are a threat have been discussed in great depth in a wide range of publications and books, such as The Spaceguard Survey , Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids, and Cosmic Catastrophes. This paper gives a brief overview on the background of this problem and address some limitations of ground-based surveys for detection of small and/or faint near-Earth objects.

  10. Modeling and analysis of periodic orbits around a contact binary asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jinglang; Noomen, Ron; Visser, Pieter N. A. M.; Yuan, Jianping

    2015-06-01

    The existence and characteristics of periodic orbits (POs) in the vicinity of a contact binary asteroid are investigated with an averaged spherical harmonics model. A contact binary asteroid consists of two components connected to each other, resulting in a highly bifurcated shape. Here, it is represented by a combination of an ellipsoid and a sphere. The gravitational field of this configuration is for the first time expanded into a spherical harmonics model up to degree and order 8. Compared with the exact potential, the truncation at degree and order 4 is found to introduce an error of less than 10 % at the circumscribing sphere and less than 1 % at a distance of the double of the reference radius. The Hamiltonian taking into account harmonics up to degree and order 4 is developed. After double averaging of this Hamiltonian, the model is reduced to include zonal harmonics only and frozen orbits are obtained. The tesseral terms are found to introduce significant variations on the frozen orbits and distort the frozen situation. Applying the method of Poincaré sections, phase space structures of the single-averaged model are generated for different energy levels and rotation rates of the asteroid, from which the dynamics driven by the 4×4 harmonics model is identified and POs are found. It is found that the disturbing effect of the highly irregular gravitational field on orbital motion is weakened around the polar region, and also for an asteroid with a fast rotation rate. Starting with initial conditions from this averaged model, families of exact POs in the original non-averaged system are obtained employing a numerical search method and a continuation technique. Some of these POs are stable and are candidates for future missions.

  11. Tidal Evolution of Asteroidal Binaries. Ruled by Viscosity. Ignorant of Rigidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efroimsky, Michael

    2015-10-01

    This is a pilot paper serving as a launching pad for study of orbital and spin evolution of binary asteroids. The rate of tidal evolution of asteroidal binaries is defined by the dynamical Love numbers kl divided by quality factors Q. Common in the literature is the (oftentimes illegitimate) approximation of the dynamical Love numbers with their static counterparts. Since the static Love numbers are, approximately, proportional to the inverse rigidity, this renders a popular fallacy that the tidal evolution rate is determined by the product of the rigidity by the quality factor: {k}l/Q\\propto 1/(μ Q). In reality, the dynamical Love numbers depend on the tidal frequency and all rheological parameters of the tidally perturbed body (not just rigidity). We demonstrate that in asteroidal binaries the rigidity of their components plays virtually no role in tidal friction and tidal lagging, and thereby has almost no influence on the intensity of tidal interactions (tidal torques, tidal dissipation, tidally induced changes of the orbit). A key quantity that overwhelmingly determines the tidal evolution is a product of the effective viscosity η by the tidal frequency χ . The functional form of the torque’s dependence on this product depends on who wins in the competition between viscosity and self-gravitation. Hence a quantitative criterion, to distinguish between two regimes. For higher values of η χ , we get {k}l/Q\\propto 1/(η χ ), {while} for lower values we obtain {k}l/Q\\propto η χ . Our study rests on an assumption that asteroids can be treated as Maxwell bodies. Applicable to rigid rocks at low frequencies, this approximation is used here also for rubble piles, due to the lack of a better model. In the future, as we learn more about mechanics of granular mixtures in a weak gravity field, we may have to amend the tidal theory with other rheological parameters, ones that do not show up in the description of viscoelastic bodies. This line of study provides

  12. Tumbling asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.; Scheirich, Peter; Kušnirák, Peter; Kotková, Lenka; Hergenrother, C.; Mottola, S.; Hicks, M. D.; Masi, G.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Kaasalainen, M.; Galád, Adrián; Brown, P.; DeGraff, D. R.; Lambert, J.V.; Cooney, W.R.; Foglia, S.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 173 (2005), s. 108-131 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Keywords : near-Earth objects * fast-rotating asteroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.244, year: 2005

  13. Asteroid team

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matson, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue

  14. Asteroid team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D. L.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this task is to support asteroid research and the operation of an Asteroid Team within the Earth and Space Sciences Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Asteroid Team carries out original research on asteroids in order to discover, better characterize and define asteroid properties. This information is needed for the planning and design of NASA asteroid flyby and rendezvous missions. The asteroid Team also provides scientific and technical advice to NASA and JPL on asteroid related programs. Work on asteroid classification continued and the discovery of two Earth-approaching M asteroids was published. In the asteroid photometry program researchers obtained N or Q photometry for more than 50 asteroids, including the two M-earth-crossers. Compositional analysis of infrared spectra (0.8 to 2.6 micrometer) of asteroids is continuing. Over the next year the work on asteroid classification and composition will continue with the analysis of the 60 reduced infrared spectra which we now have at hand. The radiometry program will continue with the reduction of the N and Q bandpass data for the 57 asteroids in order to obtain albedos and diameters. This year the emphasis will shift to IRAS follow-up observations; which includes objects not observed by IRAS and objects with poor or peculiar IRAS data. As in previous year, we plan to give top priority to any opportunities for observing near-Earth asteroids and the support (through radiometric lightcurve observations from the IRTF) of any stellar occultations by asteroids for which occultation observation expeditions are fielded. Support of preparing of IRAS data for publication and of D. Matson for his participation in the NASA Planetary Astronomy Management and Operations Working Group will continue.

  15. Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, J.F.; Gaffey, M.J.

    1989-01-01

    During the past 15 yr much progress has been made in the study of the asteroids with optical, infrared, and radar telescopes. Simultaneously a vast body of petrologic, chemical and isotopic data has been acquired for meteorites, which are actual samples of asteroids. This work has demonstrated that asteroids vary widely in composition and thermal history in a systematic but complex way with orbital position and size. The authors report that it appears that these variations can be explained to first order by a simple model invoking three principal mechanisms: condensation of various known and unknown classes of chondritic material at radial locations in the nebula controlled by the temperature and composition; intense metamorphic heating after accretion which declined rapidly with both increasing solar distance and smaller planetesimal size, producing complete differentiation in some inner belt objects, incomplete differentiation in many more, and extensive metamorphism and aqueous alteration in middle-belt objects; and complex collisional fragmentation often controlled by internal strength gradients due to irregular distribution of metal

  16. AIDA: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Galvez, A.; Carnelli, I.; Michel, P.; Rivkin, A.; Reed, C.

    2012-12-01

    To protect the Earth from a hazardous asteroid impact, various mitigation methods have been proposed, including deflection of the asteroid by a spacecraft impact. AIDA, consisting of two mission elements, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and the Asteroid Impact Monitoring (AIM) mission, is a demonstration of asteroid deflection. To date, there has been no such demonstration, and there is major uncertainty in the result of a spacecraft impact onto an asteroid, that is, the amount of deflection produced by a given momentum input from the impact. This uncertainty is in part due to unknown physical properties of the asteroid surface, such as porosity and strength, and in part due to poorly understood impact physics such that the momentum carried off by ejecta is highly uncertain. A first mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection would not only be a major step towards gaining the capability to mitigate an asteroid hazard, but in addition it would return unique information on an asteroid's strength, other surface properties, and internal structure. This information return would be highly relevant to future human exploration of asteroids. We report initial results of the AIDA joint mission concept study undertaken by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and ESA with support from NASA centers including Goddard, Johnson and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For AIDA, the DART spacecraft impactor study is coordinated with an ESA study of the AIM mission, which would rendezvous with the same asteroid to measure effects of the impact. Unlike the previous Don Quijote mission study performed by ESA in 2005-2007, DART envisions an impactor spacecraft to intercept the secondary member of a binary near-Earth asteroid. DART includes ground-based observations to measure the deflection independently of the rendezvous spacecraft observations from AIM, which also measures deflection and provides detailed characterization of the target asteroid. The joint mission AIDA

  17. Equilibrium points and associated periodic orbits in the gravity of binary asteroid systems: (66391) 1999 KW4 as an example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yu; Wang, Yue; Xu, Shijie

    2018-04-01

    The motion of a massless particle in the gravity of a binary asteroid system, referred as the restricted full three-body problem (RF3BP), is fundamental, not only for the evolution of the binary system, but also for the design of relevant space missions. In this paper, equilibrium points and associated periodic orbit families in the gravity of a binary system are investigated, with the binary (66391) 1999 KW4 as an example. The polyhedron shape model is used to describe irregular shapes and corresponding gravity fields of the primary and secondary of (66391) 1999 KW4, which is more accurate than the ellipsoid shape model in previous studies and provides a high-fidelity representation of the gravitational environment. Both of the synchronous and non-synchronous states of the binary system are considered. For the synchronous binary system, the equilibrium points and their stability are determined, and periodic orbit families emanating from each equilibrium point are generated by using the shooting (multiple shooting) method and the homotopy method, where the homotopy function connects the circular restricted three-body problem and RF3BP. In the non-synchronous binary system, trajectories of equivalent equilibrium points are calculated, and the associated periodic orbits are obtained by using the homotopy method, where the homotopy function connects the synchronous and non-synchronous systems. Although only the binary (66391) 1999 KW4 is considered, our methods will also be well applicable to other binary systems with polyhedron shape data. Our results on equilibrium points and associated periodic orbits provide general insights into the dynamical environment and orbital behaviors in proximity of small binary asteroids and enable the trajectory design and mission operations in future binary system explorations.

  18. The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment Mission and its Potential Contributions to Human Exploration of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andy S.

    2014-01-01

    The joint ESA and NASA Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission, involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. AIDA's primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact deflection and characterize the binary NEA Didymos. The science and technical data obtained from AIDA will aid in the planning of future human exploration missions to NEAs and other small bodies. The dual robotic missions of AIDA, ESA's Asteroid Impact Monitor (AIM) and NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific examinations of the binary target Didymos both prior to and after the kinetic impact demonstration. The knowledge gained from this mission will help identify asteroidal physical properties in order to maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for future small body missions. The AIDA data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations.

  19. Physical Characterization of the Near-Earth Object Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    2004-01-01

    Many pieces of the puzzle must be brought together in order to have a clear picture of the near-Earth object (NEO) population. Four of the pieces that can be described include: i) the taxonomic distribution of the population as measured by observational sampling, ii) the determination of albedos that can be associated with the taxonomic distribution, iii) discovery statistics for the NE0 population, and iv) the debiasing of the discovery statistics using the taxonomic and albedo information. Support from this grant enables us to address three of these four pieces. Binzel et al. (2004, submitted) presents the first piece, detailing the observations and observed characteristics of the NE0 and Mars-crossing (MC) population. For the second piece, a complementary program of albedo measurements is pursued at the Keck Observatory (Binzel, P. I.) with first results published in Delbo et al. (2003). For the third piece, the most extensive NE0 discovery statistics are provided by the LINEAR survey. Binzel has supervised the MIT Ph. D. thesis work of Stuart (2003) to bring the fourth piece, submitted for publication by Stuart and Binzel (2004). Our results provide new constraints for the NE0 population and progress for the Spaceguard Survey, illuminate asteroid and comet source regions for the NEOs, and provide new evidence for space weathering processes linking asteroids and meteorites. Further, we are identifying top priority near-Earth spacecraft mission candidates based on their spectral properties and inferred compositions.

  20. Calculating the momentum enhancement factor for asteroid deflection studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heberling, Tamra; Gisler, Galen; Plesko, Catherine; Weaver, Robert

    2017-01-01

    The possibility of kinetic-impact deflection of threatening near-Earth asteroids will be tested for the first time in the proposed AIDA (Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment) mission, involving NASAs DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). The impact of the DART spacecraft onto the secondary of the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos at a speed of 5 to 7 km/s is expected to alter the mutual orbit by an observable amount. Furthermore, the velocity transferred to the secondary depends largely on the momentum enhancement factor, typically referred to as beta. Here, we use two hydrocodes developed at Los Alamos, RAGE and PAGOSA, to calculate an approximate value for beta in laboratory-scale benchmark experiments. Convergence studies comparing the two codes show the importance of mesh size in estimating this crucial parameter.

  1. Near-Earth Space Radiation Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xapsos, Michael A.; O'Neill, Patrick M.; O'Brien, T. Paul

    2012-01-01

    Review of models of the near-Earth space radiation environment is presented, including recent developments in trapped proton and electron, galactic cosmic ray and solar particle event models geared toward spacecraft electronics applications.

  2. DDC Systems for Searching for Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A.

    1994-01-01

    Large format CCD systems are superior to photographic systems in terms of quantum efficiency and that they yield digital output directly, which can be computer analyzed to detect moving objects and to obtain astrometric measurements.

  3. Klet Observatory – European Contribution to Detecting and Tracking of Near Earth Objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milos Tichy

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Near Earth Object (NEO research is an expanding field of astronomy. Is is important for solar system science and also for protecting human society from asteroid and comet hazard.  A near-Earth object (NEO can be defined as an asteroid or comet that has a possibility of making an approach to the Earth, or possibly even collide with it. The discovery rate of current NEO surveys reflects progressive improvement in a number of technical areas. An integral part of NEO discovery is astrometric follow-up fundamental for precise orbit computation and for the reasonable judging of future close encounters with the Earth including possible impact solutions. A wide international cooperation is fundamental for NEO research.  The Klet Observatory (South Bohemia, Czech Republic is aimed especially at the confirmation, early follow-up, long-arc follow-up and recovery of Near Earth Objects. It ranks among the world´s most prolific professional NEO follow-up programmes.  The first NEO follow-up programme started at Klet in 1993 using 0.57-reflector equipped with a small CCD camera. A fundamental upgrade was made in 2002 when the 1.06-m KLENOT telescope was put into regular operation. The KLENOT Telescope is the largest telescope in Europe used exclusively for observations of minor planets (asteroids and comets and full observing time is dedicated to the KLENOT team.  Equipment, technology, software, observing strategy and results of both the Klet Observatory NEO Project between 1993-2010 and the first phase of the KLENOT Project from March 2002 to September 2008 are presented. They consist of thousands of precise astrometric measurements of Near Earth Objects and also three newly discovered Near Earth Asteroids.  Klet Observatory NEO activities as well as our future plans fully reflect international strategies and cooperation in the field of NEO studies.

  4. NEOWISE OBSERVATIONS OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS: PRELIMINARY RESULTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Masiero, J.; Eisenhardt, P. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T.; Mo, W. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (United States); McMillan, R. S. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Walker, R. [Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, Monterey, CA (United States); Wright, E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States); Tholen, D. J.; Jedicke, R.; Denneau, L. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI (United States); Spahr, T. [Minor Planet Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); DeBaun, E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States); Elsbury, D. [University of California Santa Barbara, Broida Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 (United States); Gautier, T. [Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Gomillion, S. [Department of Engineering Physics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 S. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 (United States); Hand, E. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110 (United States); Watkins, J., E-mail: amainzer@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); and others

    2011-12-20

    With the NEOWISE portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) project, we have carried out a highly uniform survey of the near-Earth object (NEO) population at thermal infrared wavelengths ranging from 3 to 22 {mu}m, allowing us to refine estimates of their numbers, sizes, and albedos. The NEOWISE survey detected NEOs the same way whether they were previously known or not, subject to the availability of ground-based follow-up observations, resulting in the discovery of more than 130 new NEOs. The survey's uniform sensitivity, observing cadence, and image quality have permitted extrapolation of the 428 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) detected by NEOWISE during the fully cryogenic portion of the WISE mission to the larger population. We find that there are 981 {+-} 19 NEAs larger than 1 km and 20,500 {+-} 3000 NEAs larger than 100 m. We show that the Spaceguard goal of detecting 90% of all 1 km NEAs has been met, and that the cumulative size distribution is best represented by a broken power law with a slope of 1.32 {+-} 0.14 below 1.5 km. This power-law slope produces {approx}13, 200 {+-} 1900 NEAs with D > 140 m. Although previous studies predict another break in the cumulative size distribution below D {approx} 50-100 m, resulting in an increase in the number of NEOs in this size range and smaller, we did not detect enough objects to comment on this increase. The overall number for the NEA population between 100 and 1000 m is lower than previous estimates. The numbers of near-Earth comets and potentially hazardous NEOs will be the subject of future work.

  5. NEOWISE OBSERVATIONS OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS: PRELIMINARY RESULTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Masiero, J.; Eisenhardt, P.; Grav, T.; Mo, W.; McMillan, R. S.; Cutri, R. M.; Walker, R.; Wright, E.; Tholen, D. J.; Jedicke, R.; Denneau, L.; Spahr, T.; DeBaun, E.; Elsbury, D.; Gautier, T.; Gomillion, S.; Hand, E.; Watkins, J.

    2011-01-01

    With the NEOWISE portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) project, we have carried out a highly uniform survey of the near-Earth object (NEO) population at thermal infrared wavelengths ranging from 3 to 22 μm, allowing us to refine estimates of their numbers, sizes, and albedos. The NEOWISE survey detected NEOs the same way whether they were previously known or not, subject to the availability of ground-based follow-up observations, resulting in the discovery of more than 130 new NEOs. The survey's uniform sensitivity, observing cadence, and image quality have permitted extrapolation of the 428 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) detected by NEOWISE during the fully cryogenic portion of the WISE mission to the larger population. We find that there are 981 ± 19 NEAs larger than 1 km and 20,500 ± 3000 NEAs larger than 100 m. We show that the Spaceguard goal of detecting 90% of all 1 km NEAs has been met, and that the cumulative size distribution is best represented by a broken power law with a slope of 1.32 ± 0.14 below 1.5 km. This power-law slope produces ∼13, 200 ± 1900 NEAs with D > 140 m. Although previous studies predict another break in the cumulative size distribution below D ∼ 50-100 m, resulting in an increase in the number of NEOs in this size range and smaller, we did not detect enough objects to comment on this increase. The overall number for the NEA population between 100 and 1000 m is lower than previous estimates. The numbers of near-Earth comets and potentially hazardous NEOs will be the subject of future work.

  6. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, A.; Cheng, A. F.; Stickle, A. M.; Richardson, D. C.; Barnouin, O. S.; Thomas, C.; Fahnestock, E.

    2017-12-01

    The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be the first space experiment to demonstrate asteroid impact hazard mitigation by using a kinetic impactor. DART is currently in Preliminary Design Phase ("Phase B"), and is part of the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA), a joint ESA-NASA cooperative project. The AIDA target is the near-Earth binary asteroid 65803 Didymos, an S-class system that will make a close approach to Earth in fall 2022. The DART spacecraft is designed to impact the Didymos secondary at 6 km/s and demonstrate the ability to modify its trajectory through momentum transfer. The primary goals of AIDA are (1) perform a full-scale demonstration of the spacecraft kinetic impact technique for deflection of an asteroid; (2) measure the resulting asteroid deflection, by targeting the secondary member of a binary NEO and measuring the resulting changes of the binary orbit; and (3) study hyper-velocity collision effects on an asteroid, validating models for momentum transfer in asteroid impacts. The DART impact on the Didymos secondary will change the orbital period of the binary by several minutes, which can be measured by Earth-based optical and radar observations. The baseline DART mission launches in late 2020 to impact the Didymos secondary in 2022 near the time of its close pass of Earth, which enables an array of ground- and space-based observatories to participate in gathering data. The AIDA project will provide the first measurements of momentum transfer efficiency from hyper-velocity kinetic impact at full scale on an asteroid, where the impact conditions of the projectile are known, and physical properties and internal structures of the target asteroid are characterized or constrained. The DART kinetic impact is predicted to make a crater of 6 to 17 meters diameter, depending on target physical properties, but will also release a large volume of particulate ejecta that may be directly observable from Earth or even resolvable as a

  7. The Near-Earth Space Radiation Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xapsos, Michael

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the effects of the Near-Earth space radiation environment on NASA missions. Included in this presentation is a review of The Earth s Trapped Radiation Environment, Solar Particle Events, Galactic Cosmic Rays and Comparison to Accelerator Facilities.

  8. Threat Assessment of Small Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E.; Ryan, W.

    2010-09-01

    Researchers at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory’s (MRO) 2.4-meter telescope facility are in their third year of a program to derive physical characterization information on some of the smallest (less than 200 meters in diameter) objects in the Near-Earth Object (NEO) population. Tiny comets and asteroids are being discovered by survey programs on a routine basis, so targets available for study have been abundant. Our primary objective is to derive rotation rates for these objects, and to place the results in context with previous data to enhance our understanding of asteroid impact physics and better address the threat from NEOs having Earth-crossing orbits. Rotation rate can be used to infer internal structure, which is a physical property important to assessing the energy needed for object disruption or other forms of hazard mitigation. Since the existing database of rotational data derived from lightcurves of objects in this small size regime is sparse, collection of additional observational data is beneficial. Acquiring more knowledge about the physical nature of NEOs not only contributes to general scientific pursuits, but is important to planetary defense.

  9. Near earth tracking/data exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spearing, Robert

    1990-01-01

    The future challenges facing NASA's data acquisition program are examined, with emphasis on the near-earth exploration activity and the associated data systems. It is noted that the process that is being followed is an evolutionary one: new technologies are being gradually integrated into currently operating systems. For example, advanced handling is already being introduced into such programs as the Space Telescope and the Gamma Ray Source Observatory System.

  10. Thermal inertia of eclipsing binary asteroids : the role of component shape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; van de Weijgaert, Marlies

    2015-01-01

    Thermal inertia controls the temperature distribution on asteroid surfaces. This is of crucial importance to the Yarkovsky effect and for the planning of spacecraft operations on or near the surface. Additionally, thermal inertia is a sensitive indicator for regolith structure.A uniquely direct way

  11. Resources of Near-Earth Space: Abstracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    The objectives are by theory, experiment, and bench-level testing of small systems, to develop scientifically-sound engineering processes and facility specifications for producing propellants and fuels, construction and shielding materials, and life support substances from the lithospheres and atmospheres of lunar, planetary, and asteroidal bodies. Current emphasis is on the production of oxygen, other usefull gases, metallic, ceramic/composite, and related byproducts from lunar regolith, carbonaceous chrondritic asteroids, and the carbon dioxide rich Martian atmosphere.

  12. The near-Earth and interplanetary plasma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al'pert, Y.L.

    1983-01-01

    This monograph is an extensive revision and expansion of the original paper which first appeared in 1976 in the encyclopedia, Handbuch der Physik. It presents a detailed and comprehensive treatment of wave processes and of the motion of bodies through plasma around moving bodies such as artificial satellites, and with natural plasma waves and oscillations. Contents, abridged: General properties of the near-Earth and interplanetary plasma. Refractive indexes of cold magnetoplasma. Growth rates for the different oscillation branches. Nonlinear effects in a plasma. Group velocity, trajectories, and trapping of electromagnetic waves in a magnetoplasma. Indexes

  13. Update on Spacewatch Observations of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucker, Melissa; McMillan, Robert S.; Bressi, Terry; Larsen, Jeff; Mastaler, Ron; Read, Mike; Scotti, Jim; Tubbiolo, Andrew

    2017-10-01

    Spacewatch performs targeted astrometric follow-up of near-Earth objects, primarily asteroids (NEAs), to improve knowledge of their orbits. We have a noteworthy history of asteroid and comet observations beginning in 1984 as the first survey to use CCDs to scan the sky for asteroids and comets. Currently, we measure simultaneous astrometry and photometry of observations during an average of 24 nights per lunation (dark and gray time) as the exclusive users of a 1.8-m telescope and a 0.9-m telescope on Kitt Peak. In addition, we use bright time on the 2.3-m Bok Telescope and the 4-m Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak to chase fainter targets. Continued astrometric follow-up helps to prevent potentially hazardous objects and scientifically interesting NEAs from becoming lost.We prioritize virtual impactors, MPC confirmation page objects, potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) with close approaches within 0.03 AU in the next 30 years, upcoming radar targets with astrometry requests, Yarkovsky effect candidates, NEAs with existing characterization data (WISE, Spitzer, SMASS, MANOS), possible spacecraft destinations (NHATS), and requests from the community.In mid October 2015, we switched from survey mode to targeted astrometry on the 0.9-m telescope. From 2015 October 15 through 2017 June 29 (1.7yr), Spacewatch (observatory codes 291, 691, and ^695) had 20951 MPC-accepted NEO lines of astrometry corresponding to measurements of 2647 different NEOs. This includes 4801 PHA lines of astrometry corresponding to 426 different PHAs, of which 223 lines were at apparent magnitudes V>=22.5. We observed 43% of all NEAs and 52% of all unnumbered NEAs that were observed by any observatory during that period. We observed 50% of all PHAs and 64% of all unnumbered PHAs observed during that period. These statistics do not include submitted measurements of confirmation page objects that were not confirmed as NEAs.Support of Spacewatch is from NASA/NEOO grants, the Lunar and Planetary

  14. The Gas-Surface Interaction of a Human-Occupied Spacecraft with a Near-Earth Object

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Hurley, D. M.; Poston, M. J.; Zimmerman, M. I.; Orlando, T. M.; Hibbitts, C. A.; Killen, R. M.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's asteroid redirect mission (ARM) will feature an encounter of the human-occupied Orion spacecraft with a portion of a near- Earth asteroid (NEA) previously placed in orbit about the Moon by a capture spacecraft. Applying a shuttle analog, we suggest that the Orion spacecraft should have a dominant local water exosphere, and that molecules from this exosphere can adsorb onto the NEA. The amount of adsorbed water is a function of the defect content of the NEA surface, with retention of shuttle-like water levels on the asteroid at 10(exp 15) H2O's/m2 for space weathered regolith at T approximately 300 K.

  15. Do asteroids have satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weidenschilling, S.J.; Paolicchi, P.; Zappala, V.

    1989-01-01

    A substantial body of indirect evidence suggests that some asteroids have satelities, although none has been detected unambiguously. Collisions between asteroids provide physically plausible mechanisms for the production of binaries, but these operate with low probability; only a small minority of asteroids are likely to have satellites. The abundance of binary asteroids can constrain the collisional history of the entire belt population. The allowed angular momentum of binaries and their rate of tidal evolution limit separations to no more than a few tens of the primary's radii. Their expected properties are consistent with failure to detect them by current imaging techniques

  16. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, J.

    near-Earth resource.

  17. Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission: Kinetic impactor

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cheng, A.F.; Michel, R.; Jutzi, M.; Rivkin, A. S.; Stickle, A.; Barnouin, O.; Ernst, C.; Atchison, J.; Pravec, Petr; Richardson, D.C.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 121, February (2016), s. 25-37 ISSN 0032-0633 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary defense * near- Earth asteroids * asteroid impact hazards Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.892, year: 2016

  18. Stability and evolution of orbits around the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3): Implications for the MarcoPolo-R mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussmann, Hauke; Oberst, Jürgen; Wickhusen, Kai; Shi, Xian; Damme, Friedrich; Lüdicke, Fabian; Lupovka, Valery; Bauer, Sven

    2012-09-01

    In support of the MarcoPolo-R mission, we have carried out numerical simulations of spacecraft trajectories about the binary asteroid 175706 (1996 FG3) under the influence of solar radiation pressure. We study the effects of (1) the asteroid's mass, shape, and rotational parameters, (2) the secondary's mass, shape, and orbit parameters, (3) the spacecraft's mass, surface area, and reflectivity, and (4) the time of arrival, and therefore the relative position to the sun and planets. We have considered distance regimes between 5 and 20 km, the typical range for a detailed characterization of the asteroids - primary and secondary - with imaging systems, spectrometers and by laser altimetry. With solar radiation pressure and gravity forces of the small asteroid competing, orbits are found to be unstable, in general. However, limited orbital stability can be found in the so-called Self-Stabilized Terminator Orbits (SSTO), where initial orbits are circular, orbital planes are oriented approximately perpendicular to the solar radiation pressure, and where the orbital plane of the spacecraft is shifted slightly (between 0.2 and 1 km) from the asteroid in the direction away from the sun. Under the effect of radiation pressure, the vector perpendicular to the orbit plane is observed to follow the sun direction. Shape and rotation parameters of the asteroid as well as gravitational perturbations by the secondary (not to mention sun and planets) were found not to affect the results. Such stable orbits may be suited for long radio tracking runs, which will allow for studying the gravity field. As the effect of the solar radiation pressure depends on the spacecraft mass, shape, and albedo, good knowledge of the spacecraft model and persistent monitoring of the spacecraft orientation are required.

  19. NEODyS: an online information system for near-Earth objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, S. R.; Milani, A.

    1999-09-01

    The Near-Earth Object Dynamics Site (NEODyS) is an online information service for near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Fundamentally, NEODyS is a database of NEA information; however, the distinguishing feature of the system is the degree to which the information is made available on the World Wide Web. In NEODyS every NEA has its own ``home page'' containing sections devoted to the object's orbit, observations, and close encounters. NEODyS provides interactive ephemeris services to the observer in both tabular and graphical forms. The graphical ephemeris provides a depiction of the uncertainty region on the celestial sphere, including nonlinear effects, which can be of paramount importance in the recovery of lost or nearly lost objects. With the database query service one may search for all asteroids possessing some desired orbital characteristics. This makes it easy, for example, to find all of the asteroids which are large enough to be hazardous, and can come close to the Earth, yet are effectively lost. New features expected to be in place soon include an observation planning service, which will allow the user to easily determine which NEAs are presently observable. This will be implemented with a database query of the current ephemerides, with uncertainty, for all NEODyS objects. The other planned expansion is a close approach monitoring system, which will report all potential close approaches within a fixed distance to all planets and to the largest asteroids which are compatible with the observations. The database is automatically updated on a daily basis as new observations are released from the Minor Planet Center. All of the data files needed to reproduce the NEODyS results are freely available, even the OrbFit software used for orbit determination. NEODyS can be accessed at URL http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys. NEODyS has been funded by NATO, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), and the University of Pisa.

  20. Association between meteor showers and asteroids using multivariate criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumitru, B. A.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Nedelcu, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Context. Meteoroid streams are fragments of matter produced by comets or asteroids which intersects the orbit of Earth. Meteor showers are produced when Earth intersects these streams of matter. The discoveries of active asteroids and extinct comets open a new view of the relation between these objects as possible parent bodies at the origin of meteor showers. Aims: The aim of this work is to identify the asteroids that can produce or re-populate meteoroid streams by determining the similarity of their orbits and orbital evolution over 10 000 yr. Methods: The identification was carried out by evaluating several well known D-criteria metrics, the orbits being taken from the IAU Meteor Data Center database and from IAU Minor Planet Center. Finally, we analyzed the physical properties and the orbital stability (in the Lyapunov time sense) of the candidates as well as their possible relationship with meteorites. Results: 206 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) were associated as possible parent bodies with 28 meteor showers, according to at least two of the criterion used. 50 of them satisfied all the criteria. Notable finds are: binary asteroid 2000UG11 associated with Andromedids (AND), while the tumbling asteroid (4179)Toutatis could be associated with October Capricornids (OCC). Other possible good candidates are 2004TG10, 2008EY5, 2010CF55, 2010TU149 and 2014OY1. These objects have low albedo, therefore can be primitive objects. Asteroid 2007LW19 which is a fast rotator and most probably has monolithic structure and so its physical characteristic does not support the association found based on the dynamical criteria.

  1. The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, A.; Cohen, B. A.; Barnouin, O. S.; Chabot, N. L.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Helbert, J.; Sternovsky, Z.

    2015-12-01

    The asteroids preserve information from the earliest times in solar system history, with compositions in the population reflecting the material in the solar nebula and experiencing a wide range of temperatures. Today they experience ongoing processes, some of which are shared with larger bodies but some of which are unique to their size regime. They are critical to humanity's future as potential threats, resource sites, and targets for human visitation. However, over twenty years since the first spacecraft encounters with asteroids, they remain poorly understood. The mission we propose here, the Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS), explores the diversity of asteroids to understand our solar system's past history, its present processes, and future opportunities and hazards. MANTIS addresses many of NASA's highest priorities as laid out in its 2014 Science Plan and provides additional benefit to the Planetary Defense and Human Exploration communities via a low-risk, cost-effective tour of the near-Earth and inner asteroid belt. MANTIS visits the materials that witnessed solar system formation and its earliest history, addressing the NASA goal of exploring and observing the objects in the solar system to understand how they formed and evolve. MANTIS measures OH, water, and organic materials via several complementary techniques, visiting and sampling objects known to have hydrated minerals and addressing the NASA goal of improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of life on Earth. MANTIS studies the geology and geophysics of nine diverse asteroids, with compositions ranging from water-rich to metallic, representatives of both binary and non-binary asteroids, and sizes covering over two orders of magnitude, providing unique information about the chemical and physical processes shaping the asteroids, addressing the NASA goal of advancing the understanding of how the chemical and physical processes in our solar system

  2. Near Earth space sporadic radio emission busts occurring during sunrise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudnik, A. V.; Zaljubovsky, I. I.; Kartashev, V. M.; Lasarev, A. V.; Shmatko, E. S.

    1985-01-01

    During the period of low solar activity at sunrise the effect of sporadic high frequency near Earth space radio emission was experimentally discovered at middle latitudes. The possible mechanism of its origin is discussed.

  3. Accelerated simulation of near-Earth-orbit polymer degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laue, Eric

    1992-01-01

    There is a need to simulate the near-Earth-orbit environmental conditions, and it is useful to be able to monitor the changes in physical properties of spacecraft materials. Two different methods for simulating the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) and soft X-ray near-Earth-orbit flux are presented. Also, methods for monitoring the changes in optical ultraviolet transmission and mass loss are presented. The results of exposures to VUV photons and charged particles on these materials are discussed.

  4. Asteroids IV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.

    easy and pleasant as possible for the editors, authors, and referees. They also thank Richard Binzel, the General Editor of the Space Science Series, for his strong support and advice during this process, as well as the staff at the University of Arizona Press. Finally, editor Patrick Michel would like to thank his wife Delphine, who married him on June 14, 2013, almost at the birth of the book process. He is grateful that she was willing to put up with him as he spent many of his nights and weekends working on the book. Thanks to her support, their trajectories are as bounded as a perfectly stable asteroid binary system, and this was probably the best way to experience from the start what her life would be like with a researcher! Co-editor Bottke would also like to thank his wife Veronica and his children Kristina-Marie, Laura, and Julie, who make up his own favorite asteroid family. Since Asteroids III, the size distribution of the family members has been steadily changing, and who knows how many tiny new members it will contain by Asteroids V! Co-editor DeMeo would like to thank her husband Alfredo for his support and encouragement throughout the process of creating this book. They met at the beginning of her career in research, becoming an asteroid pair and now continuing on the same orbit in life.

  5. Meteorite Source Regions as Revealed by the Near-Earth Object Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Burt, Brian J.; Polishook, David; Burbine, Thomas H.; Bus, Schelte J.; Tokunaga, Alan; Birlan, Mirel

    2014-11-01

    Spectroscopic and taxonomic information is now available for 1000 near-Earth objects, having been obtained through both targeted surveys (e.g. [1], [2], [3]) or resulting from all-sky surveys (e.g. [4]). We determine their taxonomic types in the Bus-DeMeo system [5] [6] and subsequently examine meteorite correlations based on spectral analysis (e.g. [7],[8]). We correlate our spectral findings with the source region probabilities calculated using the methods of Bottke et al. [9]. In terms of taxonomy, very clear sources are indicated: Q-, Sq-, and S-types most strongly associated with ordinary chondrite meteorites show clear source signatures through the inner main-belt. V-types are relatively equally balanced between nu6 and 3:1 resonance sources, consistent with the orbital dispersion of the Vesta family. B- and C-types show distinct source region preferences for the outer belt and for Jupiter family comets. A Jupiter family comet source predominates for the D-type near-Earth objects, implying these "asteroidal" bodies may be extinct or dormant comets [10]. Similarly, near-Earth objects falling in the spectrally featureless "X-type" category also show a strong outer belt and Jupiter family comet source region preference. Finally the Xe-class near-Earth objects, which most closely match the spectral properties of enstatite achondrite (aubrite) meteorites seen in the Hungaria region[11], show a source region preference consistent with a Hungaria origin by entering near-Earth space through the Mars crossing and nu6 resonance pathways. This work supported by the National Science Foundation Grant 0907766 and NASA Grant NNX10AG27G.[1] Lazzarin, M. et al. (2004), Mem. S. A. It. Suppl. 5, 21. [2] Thomas, C. A. et al. (2014), Icarus 228, 217. [3] Tokunaga, A. et al. (2006) BAAS 38, 59.07. [4] Hasselmann, P. H., Carvano, J. M., Lazzaro, D. (2011) NASA PDS, EAR-A-I0035-5-SDSSTAX-V1.0. [5] Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. (2002). Icarus 158, 146. [6] DeMeo, F.E. et al. (2009), Icarus

  6. FIRST RESULTS FROM THE RAPID-RESPONSE SPECTROPHOTOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS USING UKIRT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mommert, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Petersen, E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Borth, D. [Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), D-67663 Kaiserslautern (Germany); Jedicke, R. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Butler, N. [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Reyes-Ruiz, M. [Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Astronomía, Ensenada, B.C. 22860, México (Mexico); Pichardo, B. [Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, D.F. 04510, México (Mexico); Axelrod, T. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Moskovitz, N., E-mail: michael.mommert@nau.edu [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2016-04-15

    Using the Wide Field Camera for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), we measure the near-infrared colors of near-Earth objects (NEOs) in order to put constraints on their taxonomic classifications. The rapid-response character of our observations allows us to observe NEOs when they are close to the Earth and bright. Here we present near-infrared color measurements of 86 NEOs, most of which were observed within a few days of their discovery, allowing us to characterize NEOs with diameters of only a few meters. Using machine-learning methods, we compare our measurements to existing asteroid spectral data and provide probabilistic taxonomic classifications for our targets. Our observations allow us to distinguish between S-complex, C/X-complex, D-type, and V-type asteroids. Our results suggest that the fraction of S-complex asteroids in the whole NEO population is lower than the fraction of ordinary chondrites in the meteorite fall statistics. Future data obtained with UKIRT will be used to investigate the significance of this discrepancy.

  7. Asteroid Redirection Mission Evaluation Using Multiple Landers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzocchi, Michael C. F.; Emami, M. Reza

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, a low-thrust tugboat redirection method is assessed using multiple spacecraft for a target range of small near-Earth asteroids. The benefits of a landed configuration of tugboat spacecraft in formation are examined for the redirection of a near-Earth asteroid. The tugboat method uses a gimballed thruster with a highly collimated ion beam to generate a thrust on the asteroid. The target asteroid range focuses on near-Earth asteroids smaller than 150 m in diameter, and carbonaceous (C-type) asteroids, due to the volatiles available for in-situ utilization. The assessment focuses primarily on the three key parameters, i.e., the asteroid mass redirected, the timeframe for redirection, and the overall system cost. An evaluation methodology for each parameter is discussed in detail, and the parameters are employed to determine the expected return and feasibility of the redirection mission. The number of spacecraft employed is optimized along with the electrical power needed for each spacecraft to ensure the highest possible return on investment. A discussion of the optimization results and the benefits of spacecraft formation for the tugboat method are presented.

  8. Perspectives for Distributed Observations of Near-Earth Space Using a Russian-Cuban Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisikalo, D. V.; Savanov, I. S.; Naroenkov, S. A.; Nalivkin, M. A.; Shugarov, A. S.; Bakhtigaraev, N. S.; Levkina, P. A.; Ibragimov, M. A.; Kil'pio, E. Yu.; Sachkov, M. E.; Kartashova, A. P.; Fateeva, A. M.; Uratsuka, Marta R. Rodriguez; Estrada, Ramses Zaldivar; Diaz, Antonio Alonsa; Rodríguez, Omar Pons; Figuera, Fidel Hernandes; Garcia, Maritza Garcia

    2018-06-01

    The creation of a specialized network of large, wide-angle telescopes for distributed observations of near-Earth space using a Russian-Cuban Observatory is considered. An extremely important goal of routine monitoring of near-Earth and near-Sun space is warding off threats with both natural and technogenic origins. Natural threats are associated with asteroids or comets, and technogenic threats with man-made debris in near-Earth space. A modern network of ground-based optical instruments designed to ward off such threats must: (a) have a global and, if possible, uniform geographic distribution, (b) be suitable for wide-angle, high-accuracy precision survey observations, and (c) be created and operated within a single network-oriented framework. Experience at the Institute of Astronomy on the development of one-meter-class wide-angle telescopes and elements of a super-wide-angle telescope cluster is applied to determine preferences for the composition of each node of such a network. The efficiency of distributed observations in attaining maximally accurate predictions of the motions of potentially dangerous celestial bodies as they approach the Earth and in observations of space debris and man-made satellites is estimated. The first estimates of astroclimatic conditions at the proposed site of the future Russian-Cuban Observatory in the mountains of the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve are obtained. Special attention is given to the possible use of the network to carry out a wide range of astrophysical studies, including optical support for the localization of gravitational waves and other transient events.

  9. Pioneer Venus and near-earth observations of interplanetary shocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mihalov, J.D.; Russell, C.T.; Knudsen, W.C.; Scarf, F.L.

    1987-01-01

    Twenty-three transient interplanetary shocks observed near earth during 1978-1982, and mostly reported in the literature, have also been identified at the Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft. There seems to be a fairly consistent trend for lower shock speeds, farther from the sun. Shock normals obtained using the Pioneer Venus data correspond well with published values from near earth. By referring to the portion of the Pioneer Venus plasma data used here from locations at longitudes within 37 degree of earth, it is found that shocks are weaker at earth, compared with closer to the sun

  10. Near-Earth Object Orbit Linking with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vereš, Peter; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-07-01

    We have conducted a detailed simulation of the ability of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to link near-Earth and main belt asteroid detections into orbits. The key elements of the study were a high-fidelity detection model and the presence of false detections in the form of both statistical noise and difference image artifacts. We employed the Moving Object Processing System (MOPS) to generate tracklets, tracks, and orbits with a realistic detection density for one month of the LSST survey. The main goals of the study were to understand whether (a) the linking of near-Earth objects (NEOs) into orbits can succeed in a realistic survey, (b) the number of false tracks and orbits will be manageable, and (c) the accuracy of linked orbits would be sufficient for automated processing of discoveries and attributions. We found that the overall density of asteroids was more than 5000 per LSST field near opposition on the ecliptic, plus up to 3000 false detections per field in good seeing. We achieved 93.6% NEO linking efficiency for H< 22 on tracks composed of tracklets from at least three distinct nights within a 12 day interval. The derived NEO catalog was comprised of 96% correct linkages. Less than 0.1% of orbits included false detections, and the remainder of false linkages stemmed from main belt confusion, which was an artifact of the short time span of the simulation. The MOPS linking efficiency can be improved by refined attribution of detections to known objects and by improved tuning of the internal kd-tree linking algorithms.

  11. Characterization of the Interior Density Structure of Near Earth Objects with Muons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prettyman, T. H.; Sykes, M. V.; Miller, R. S.; Pinsky, L. S.; Empl, A.; Nolan, M. C.; Koontz, S. L.; Lawrence, D. J.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Reddell, B. D.

    2015-12-01

    Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are a diverse population of short-lived asteroids originating from the main belt and Jupiter family comets. Some have orbits that are easy to access from Earth, making them attractive as targets for science and exploration as well as a potential resource. Some pose a potential impact threat. NEOs have undergone extensive collisional processing, fragmenting and re-accreting to form rubble piles, which may be compositionally heterogeneous (e.g., like 2008 TC3, the precursor to Almahata Sitta). At present, little is known about their interior structure or how these objects are held together. The wide range of inferred NEO macroporosities hint at complex interiors. Information about their density structure would aid in understanding their formation and collisional histories, the risks they pose to human interactions with their surfaces, the constraints on industrial processing of NEO resources, and the selection of hazard mitigation strategies (e.g., kinetic impactor vs nuclear burst). Several methods have been proposed to characterize asteroid interiors, including radar imaging, seismic tomography, and muon imaging (muon radiography and tomography). Of these, only muon imaging has the potential to determine interior density structure, including the relative density of constituent fragments. Muons are produced by galactic cosmic ray showers within the top meter of asteroid surfaces. High-energy muons can traverse large distances through rock with little deflection. Muons transmitted through an Itokawa-sized asteroid can be imaged using a compact hodoscope placed on or near the surface. Challenges include background rejection and correction for variations in muon production with surface density. The former is being addressed by hodoscope design. Surface density variations can be determined via radar or muon limb imaging. The performance of muon imaging is evaluated for prospective NEO interior-mapping missions.

  12. Earth-approaching asteroids: Populations, origin, and compositional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Helin, E. F.

    1978-01-01

    Origin, physical properties, and discovery history of smaller asteroids are reviewed. They appear to link the main belt objects, namely the comets and meteorites. Physical observations suggest that a wide variety of compositional types are represented among the near-earth asteroids; the apparent rarity of carbonaceous objects is stated.

  13. Surface Properties of Asteroids from Mid-Infrared Observations and Thermophysical Modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael

    The subject of this work is the physical characterization of asteroids, focusing on the thermal inertia of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Thermal inertia governs the Yarkovsky effect, a non-gravitational force which significantly alters the orbits of asteroids up to \\sim 20 km in diameter. Yet, very

  14. Science case for the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM): A component of the Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Michel, P.; Cheng, A.; Kueppers, M.; Pravec, Petr; Blum, J.; Delbó, M.; Green, S.; Rosenblatt, P.; Tsiganis, K.; Vincent, J.B.; Biele, J.; Ciarletti, V.; Herique, A.; Ulamec, S.; Carnelli, I.; Galvez, A.; Benner, L. A. M.; Naidu, S.P.; Barnouin, O.; Richardson, D.C.; Rivkin, A. S.; Scheirich, Peter; Moskovitz, N.; Thirouin, A.; Schwartz, S.R.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Yu, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 12 (2016), s. 2529-2547 ISSN 0273-1177 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-07193S Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary defense * near- Earth asteroids * asteroid impact hazards Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.401, year: 2016

  15. NEOWISE REACTIVATION MISSION YEAR ONE: PRELIMINARY ASTEROID DIAMETERS AND ALBEDOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R.; Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Sonnett, S.; Stevenson, R. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: cnugent@ipac.caltech.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary diameters and albedos for 7956 asteroids detected in the first year of the NEOWISE Reactivation mission. Of those, 201 are near-Earth asteroids and 7755 are Main Belt or Mars-crossing asteroids. 17% of these objects have not been previously characterized using the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or “NEOWISE” thermal measurements. Diameters are determined to an accuracy of ∼20% or better. If good-quality H magnitudes are available, albedos can be determined to within ∼40% or better.

  16. ExploreNEOs: The Warm Spitzer Near Earth Object survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Hora, J. L.; Harris, A. W.; Benner, L. A. M.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Delbó, M.; Emery, J. P.; Fazio, G.; Hagen, A. R.; Kistler, J. L.; Mainzer, A.; Mommert, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.; Thomas, C. A.

    2011-01-01

    We are carrying out the ExploreNEOs project in which we observe more than 600 near Earth Objects (NEOs) at 3.6 and 4.5 microns with Warm Spitzer. For each NEO we derive diameter and albedo. We present our results to date, which include studies of individual objects, results for our entire observed

  17. ExploreNEOs: The Warm Spitzer Near Earth Object Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trilling, D. E.; Hora, J. L.; Mueller, M.; Thomas, C. A.; Harris, A. W.; Hagen, A. R.; Mommert, M.; Benner, L.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Delbo, M.; Emery, J. P.; Fazio, G.; Kistler, J. L.; Mainzer, A.; Morbidelli, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    We have observed some 600 near Earth objects (NEOs) at 3.6 and 4.5 microns with the Warm Spitzer Space Telescope. We derive the albedo and diameter for each NEO to characterize global properties of the NEO population, among other goals.

  18. Asteroids Lightcurves Analysis: 2016 November - 2017 June

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbognani, Albino; Bacci, Paolo; Buzzi, Luca

    2018-01-01

    Twelve near-Earth asteroids were observed from 2016 November through 2017 June to find the synodic rotation period and lightcurve amplitudes for each asteroid. Results are reported for 2329 Orthos, (138846) 2000 VJ61, (326683) 2002 WP, (489337) 2006 UM, (494706) 2005 GL9, 2005 TF, 2017 BJ30, 2017 BQ6, 2017 CS, 2017 DC36, 2017 GK4, and 2017 JA2.

  19. Asteroid Composite Tape

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-07-01

    This is a composite tape showing 10 short segments primarily about asteroids. The segments have short introductory slides, which include brief descriptions about the shots. The segments are: (1) Radar movie of asteroid 1620 Geographos; (2) Animation of the trajectories of Toutatis and Earth (3) Animation of a landing on Toutatis; (4) Simulated encounter of an asteroid with Earth, includes a simulated impact trajectory; (5) An animated overview of the Manrover vehicle; (6) The Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project, includes a photograph of USAF Station in Hawaii, and animation of Earth approaching 4179 Toutatis and the asteroid Gaspara; (7) live video of the anchor tests of the Champoleon anchoring apparatus; (8) a second live video of the Champoleon anchor tests showing anchoring spikes, and collision rings; (9) An animated segment with narration about the Stardust mission with sound, which describes the mission to fly close to a comet, and capture cometary material for return to Earth; (10) live video of the drop test of a Stardust replica from a hot air balloon; this includes sound but is not narrated.

  20. An ISU study of asteroid mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, J. D.

    During the 1990 summer session of the International Space University, 59 graduate students from 16 countries carried out a design project on using the resources of near-earth asteroids. The results of the project, whose full report is now available from ISU, are summarized. The student team included people in these fields: architecture, business and management, engineering, life sciences, physical sciences, policy and law, resources and manufacturing, and satellite applications. They designed a project for transporting equipment and personnel to a near-earth asteroid, setting up a mining base there, and hauling products back for use in cislunar space. In addition, they outlined the needed precursor steps, beginning with expansion of present ground-based programs for finding and characterizing near-earth asteroids and continuing with automated flight missions to candidate bodies. (To limit the summer project's scope the actual design of these flight-mission precursors was excluded.) The main conclusions were that asteroid mining may provide an important complement to the future use of lunar resources, with the potential to provide large amounts of water and carbonaceous materials for use off earth. However, the recovery of such materials from presently known asteroids did not show an economic gain under the study assumptions; therefore, asteroid mining cannot yet be considered a prospective business.

  1. Dynamics and control of a solar collector system for near Earth object deflection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong Shenping; Li Junfeng; Gao Yunfeng

    2011-01-01

    A solar collector system is a possible method using solar energy to deflect Earth-threatening near-Earth objects. We investigate the dynamics and control of a solar collector system including a main collector (MC) and secondary collector (SC). The MC is used to collect the sunlight to its focal point, where the SC is placed and directs the collected light to an asteroid. Both the relative position and attitude of the two collectors should be accurately controlled to achieve the desired optical path. First, the dynamical equation of the relative motion of the two collectors in the vicinity of the asteroid is modeled. Secondly, the nonlinear sliding-mode method is employed to design a control law to achieve the desired configuration of the two collectors. Finally, the deflection capability of this solar collector system is compared with those of the gravitational tractor and solar sail gravitational tractor. The results show that the solar collector is much more efficient with respect to deflection capability.

  2. Asteroid Lightcurves from Xingming Observatory: 2017 - 2017 June

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hanjie; Yeh, Tingshuo; Li, Bin; Gao, Xing

    2018-01-01

    The lightcurves of main-belt asteroids 963, 1025, 2019, and 17814 and near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) 459872, 2014 JO25, and 2017 BS32 were obtained using Xingming Observatory (Code C42) from 2016 March to 2017 March. The absolute magnitudes of these asteroids range from H = 11.6 to 27.3, corresponding to a diameter range of 14 m to 14 km. The derived synodic rotation periods range between 0.1 to 10 h.

  3. Direct Detection of the Asteroidal YORP Effect

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lowry, S.C.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Pravec, Petr; Vokrouhlický, D.; Boehnhardt, H.; Taylor, P.A.; Margot, J. L.; Galád, Adrián; Irwin, M.; Irwin, J.; Kušnirák, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 316, č. 5822 (2007), s. 272-274 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids rotation * near- Earth objects Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 26.372, year: 2007

  4. Radar observations of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostro, S.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes echoes from 33 main-belt asteroids (MBAs) and 19 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have provided a wealth of new information about these objects such as sizes, shapes, spin vectors, and such surface characteristics as decimeter-scale morphology, topographic relief, regolith porosity and metal concentrations. On average, small NEAs are much rougher at decimeter scales than MBAs, comets or terrestrial planets. Some of the largest MBAs (e.g., 1 Ceres and 2 Pallas ) are smoother than the moon at decimeter scales but much rougher than the Moon at some much larger scale. There is at least a five-fold variation in the radar albedos of MBAs, implying substantial variations in the surface porosities or metal concentrations of these objects. The highest MBA albedo estimate, for 16 Psyche, is consistent with a metal concentration near unity and lunar porosities

  5. MASCOT2, a Lander to Characterize the Target of an Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Deflection Test (AIM) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Krause, C.; Cozzoni, B.; Lange, C.; Grundmann, J. T.; Grimm, C.; Ho, T.-M.; Herique, A.; Plettemeier, D.; Grott, M.; Auster, H.-U.; Hercik, D.; Carnelli, I.; Galvez, A.; Philippe, C.; Küppers, M.; Grieger, B.; Gil Fernandez, J.; Grygorczuk, J.

    2017-09-01

    In the course of the AIDA/AIM mission studies [1,2] a lander, MASCOT2, has been studied to be deployed on the moon of the binary Near-Earth Asteroid system, (65803) Didymos. The AIDA technology demonstration mission, composed of a kinetic impactor, DART, and an observing spacecraft, AIM, has been designed to deliver vital data to determine the momentum transfer efficiency of the kinetic impact and key physical properties of the target asteroid. This will enable derivation of the impact response of the object as a function of its physical properties, a crucial quantitative point besides the qualitative proof that the asteroid has been deflected at all. A landed asset on the target asteroid greatly supports analyzing its dynamical state, mass, geophysical properties, surface and subsurface structure. The lander's main instrument is a bistatic, low frequency radar (LFR) [3a,b] to sound the interior structure of the asteroid. It is supported by a camera (MasCAM) [4], a radiometer (MARA)[5], an accelerometer (DACC [9]), and, optionally regarding the science case, also a magnetometer (MasMAG)[6].

  6. BILLIARDS: Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus, Matthew; Sloane, Joshua; Ortiz, Oliver; Barbee, Brent

    2015-01-01

    BILLIARDS Baseline Instrumented Lithology Lander, Inspector, and Asteroid Redirection Demonstration System Proposed demonstration mission for Billiard-Ball concept Select asteroid pair with natural close approach to minimize cost and complexity Primary Objectives Rendezvous with a small (10m), near Earth (alpha) asteroid Maneuver the alpha asteroid to a collision with a 100m (beta) asteroid Produce a detectable deflection or disruption of the beta asteroid Secondary objectives Contribute knowledge of asteroid composition and characteristics Contribute knowledge of small-body formation Opportunity for international collaboration

  7. Finding Long Lost Lexell's Comet: The Fate of the First Discovered Near-Earth Object

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Wiegert, Paul A.; Hui, Man-To

    2018-04-01

    Jupiter-family Comet D/1770 L1 (Lexell) was the first discovered Near-Earth Object (NEO) and passed the Earth on 1770 July 1 at a recorded distance of 0.015 au. The comet was subsequently lost due to unfavorable observing circumstances during its next apparition followed by a close encounter with Jupiter in 1779. Since then, the fate of D/Lexell has attracted interest from the scientific community, and now we revisit this long-standing question. We investigate the dynamical evolution of D/Lexell based on a set of orbits recalculated using the observations made by Charles Messier, the comet’s discoverer, and find that there is a 98% chance that D/Lexell remains in the solar system by the year of 2000. This finding remains valid even if a moderate non-gravitational effect is imposed. Messier’s observations also suggest that the comet is one of the largest known near-Earth comets, with a nucleus of ≳10 km in diameter. This implies that the comet should have been detected by contemporary NEO surveys regardless of its activity level if it has remained in the inner solar system. We identify asteroid 2010 JL33 as a possible descendant of D/Lexell, with a 0.8% probability of chance alignment, but a direct orbital linkage of the two bodies has not been successfully accomplished. We also use the recalculated orbit to investigate the meteors potentially originating from D/Lexell. While no associated meteors have been unambiguously detected, we show that meteor observations can be used to better constrain the orbit of D/Lexell despite the comet being long lost.

  8. How to Communicate Near Earth Objects with the Public - Klet Observatory Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticha, Jana; Tichy, Milos; Kocer, Michal

    2015-08-01

    Near-Earth Object (NEO) research is counted among the most popular parts of communicating astronomy with the public. Increasing research results in the field of Near-Earth Objects as well as impact hazard investigations cause growing interest among general public and media. Furthermore NEO related issues have outstanding educational value. So thus communicating NEO detection, NEO characterization, possible impact effects, space missions to NEOs, ways of mitigation and impact warnings with the public and media belong to the most important tasks of scientists and research institutions.Our institution represents an unique liaison of the small professional research institution devoted especially to NEO studies (the Klet Observatory, Czech Republic) and the educational and public outreach branch (the Observatory and Planetarium Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic). This all has been giving us an excellent opportunity for bringing NEO information to wider audience. We have been obtaining a wide experience in communicating NEOs with the public more than twenty years.There is a wide spectrum of public outreach tools aimed to NEO research and hazard. As the most useful ones we consider two special on-line magazines (e-zins) devoted to asteroids (www.planetky.cz) and comets (www.komety.cz) in Czech language, educational multimedia presentations for schools at different levels in planetarium, summer excursions for wide public just at the Klet Observatory on the top of the Klet mountain, public lectures, meetings and exhibitions. It seems to be very contributing and favoured by public to have opportunities for more or less informal meetings just with NEO researchers from time to time. Very important part of NEO public outreach consists of continuous contact with journalists and media including press releases, interviews, news, periodical programs. An increasing role of social media is taken into account through Facebook and Twitter profiles.The essential goal of all mentioned NEO

  9. Mission Analysis for Multiple Rendezvous of Near-Earth Asteroids Using Earth Gravity Assist

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    110.4499495 300.3435336 86 5143 Heracles 55200 1.83324327 0.772631646 9.1274408 226.9140165 310.275799 62.8433755 87 5189 (1990 UQ) 55200 1.55103447...0.3388176 25.6979455 147.9605282 318.572862 15.9807281 5143 (2008 CH70) 55200 0.85305516 0.319646228 6.5361292 188.0203319 144.7052743

  10. Finding Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Destinations for Human Exploration: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Rob; Abell, Paul; Barbee, Brent; Johnson, Lindley

    2012-01-01

    The current number of known potential NEA targets for HSF is limited to those objects whose orbital characteristics are similar to that of the Earth. This is due to the projected capabilities of the exploration systems currently under consideration and development at NASA. However, NEAs with such orbital characteristics often have viewing geometries that place them at low solar elongations and thus are difficult to detect from the vicinity of Earth. While ongoing ground-based surveys and data archives maintained by the NEO Program Observation Program Office and the Minor Planet Center (MPC) have provided a solid basis upon which to build, a more complete catalog of the NEO population is required to inform a robust and sustainable HSF exploration program. Since all the present NEO observing assets are currently confined to the vicinity of the Earth, additional effort must be made to provide capabilities for detection of additional HSF targets via assets beyond Earth orbit. A space-based NEO survey telescope located beyond the vicinity of the Earth, has considerable implications for planetary science and astrobiology. Such a telescope will provide foundational knowledge of our Solar System small body population and detect targets of interest for both the HSF and scientific communities. Data from this asset will yield basic characterization data on the NEOs observed (i.e., albedo, size determination, potential for volatiles and organics, etc.) and help down select targets for future HSF missions. Ideally, the most attractive targets from both HSF and astrobiology perspectives are those NEAs that may contain organic and volatile materials, and which could be effectively sampled at a variety of locations and depths. Presented here is an overview of four space-based survey concepts; any one of which after just a few years of operation will discover many highly accessible NEO targets suitable for robotic and human exploration. Such a space-based survey mission will reveal incredible returns for several disciplines including: exploration, in situ resource utilization, planetary defense, and science. Of particular, interest to the scientific

  11. The search for Near Earth Objects - why dark skies are critically important

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainscoat, Richard

    2015-08-01

    Impact of Earth by asteroids is perhaps the only natural disaster that can be prevented. If an asteroid that will impact Earth can be identified sufficiently early, it is possible to modify its orbit to eliminate the impact. As a consequence, a major effort is presently underway to identify Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that may present a threat to Earth. The impact of a 20-meter diameter object near Chelyabinsk, Russia, provided a spectacular reminder of the threat that these objects present. Although no deaths were caused, injuries and a large amount of property damage were caused.The search for NEOs is mostly funded by NASA. The principal search telescopes are the Pan-STARRS telescopes, located on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii, and the Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson, Arizona. Both of these locations are seriously threatened by light pollution. A new survey, ATLAS, will commence shortly, with one telescope located on Haleakala, Maui, and the other telescope located on Mauna Loa, Hawaii (which is less threatened).Artificial light (i.e., light pollution) at these observing sites raises the sky background, and makes faint objects harder or impossible to see.Searches for Near Earth Objects typically use very broad passbands in order to obtain the maximum amount of light. These passbands typically stretch from 400 to 820 nm. As such, they are very vulnerable to the changes in lighting that are occurring across the globe, with widespread introduction of blue-rich white lighting. It is critically important in all of these locations to limit the amount of blue light that is so readily scattered by the atmosphere.A network of followup telescopes, spread across the planet, play a crucial role in the discovery of NEOs. After a new NEO is identified by the survey telescopes such as Pan-STARRS and Catalina, additional observations must be secured to establish its orbit, and in order to determine whether it poses a threat to Earth. The majority of these followup telescopes are

  12. Proceedings of the Near-Earth-Object Interception Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canavan, G. J. (Editor); Solem, J. C. (Editor); Rather, John D. G. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters sponsored the Near-Earth-Object Interception Workshop hosted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory on 14-16 Jan. 1992 at the J. Robert Oppenheimer Study Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Workshop evaluated the issues involved in intercepting celestial objects that could hit the Earth. It covered the technologies for acquiring, tracking, and homing, as well as those for sending interceptors to inspect, rendezvous with, land on, irradiate, deflect, or destroy them. This report records the presentations and technical options reviewed.

  13. SSC Tenant Meeting: NASA Near Earth Network (NEN) Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, David; Larsen, David; Baldwin, Philip; Wilson, Cristy; Ruley, LaMont

    2018-01-01

    The Near Earth Network (NEN) consists of globally distributed tracking stations that are strategically located throughout the world which provide Telemetry, Tracking, and Commanding (TTC) services support to a variety of orbital and suborbital flight missions, including Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO), highly elliptical, and lunar orbits. Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), which is one of the NEN Commercial Service Provider, has provided the NEN with TTC services support from its Alaska, Hawaii, Chile and Sweden. The presentation will give an overview of the NEN and its support from SSC.

  14. Modelling the near-Earth space environment using LDEF data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Dale R.; Coombs, Cassandra R.; Crowell, Lawrence B.; Watts, Alan J.

    1992-01-01

    Near-Earth space is a dynamic environment, that is currently not well understood. In an effort to better characterize the near-Earth space environment, this study compares the results of actual impact crater measurement data and the Space Environment (SPENV) Program developed in-house at POD, to theoretical models established by Kessler (NASA TM-100471, 1987) and Cour-Palais (NASA SP-8013, 1969). With the continuing escalation of debris there will exist a definite hazard to unmanned satellites as well as manned operations. Since the smaller non-trackable debris has the highest impact rate, it is clearly necessary to establish the true debris environment for all particle sizes. Proper comprehension of the near-Earth space environment and its origin will permit improvement in spacecraft design and mission planning, thereby reducing potential disasters and extreme costs. Results of this study directly relate to the survivability of future spacecraft and satellites that are to travel through and/or reside in low Earth orbit (LEO). More specifically, these data are being used to: (1) characterize the effects of the LEO micrometeoroid an debris environment on satellite designs and components; (2) update the current theoretical micrometeoroid and debris models for LEO; (3) help assess the survivability of spacecraft and satellites that must travel through or reside in LEO, and the probability of their collision with already resident debris; and (4) help define and evaluate future debris mitigation and disposal methods. Combined model predictions match relatively well with the LDEF data for impact craters larger than approximately 0.05 cm, diameter; however, for smaller impact craters, the combined predictions diverge and do not reflect the sporadic clouds identified by the Interplanetary Dust Experiment (IDE) aboard LDEF. The divergences cannot currently be explained by the authors or model developers. The mean flux of small craters (approximately 0.05 cm diameter) is

  15. Space Mobile Network: A Near Earth Communication and Navigation Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, Dave J.; Heckler, Greg; Menrad, Robert J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a Space Mobile Network architecture, the result of a recently completed NASA study exploring architectural concepts to produce a vision for the future Near Earth communications and navigation systems. The Space Mobile Network (SMN) incorporates technologies, such as Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) and optical communications, and new operations concepts, such as User Initiated Services, to provide user services analogous to a terrestrial smartphone user. The paper will describe the SMN Architecture, envisioned future operations concepts, opportunities for industry and international collaboration and interoperability, and technology development areas and goals.

  16. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Alan; Date, Medha; Duarte, Manny; Erian, Neil; Gafka, George; Kappler, Peter; Patano, Scott; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar; Radovich, Brian

    1991-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources which may exist on asteroids could have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. With the possibly limitless opportunities that exist, it is clear that asteroids are the next step for human existence in space. This report comprises the efforts of NEW WORLDS, Inc. to develop a comprehensive design for an asteroid exploration/sample return mission. This mission is a precursor to proof-of-concept missions that will investigate the validity of mining and materials processing on an asteroid. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on two utilization scenarios: (1) moving an asteroid to an advantageous location for use by Earth; and (2) mining an asteroids and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plane for humans to utilize asteroid resources. The report concentrates specifically on the selection of the most promising asteroids for exploration and the development of an exploration scenario. Future utilization as well as subsystem requirements of an asteroid sample return probe are also addressed.

  17. The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS): Project Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Polishook, David; Thomas, Cristina; Willman, Mark; DeMeo, Francesca; Mommert, Michael; Endicott, Thomas; Trilling, David; Binzel, Richard; Hinkle, Mary; Siu, Hosea; Neugent, Kathryn; Christensen, Eric; Person, Michael; Burt, Brian; Grundy, Will; Roe, Henry; Abell, Paul; Busch, Michael

    2014-11-01

    The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS) began in August 2013 as a multi-year physical characterization survey that was awarded survey status by NOAO. MANOS will target several hundred mission-accessible NEOs across visible and near-infrared wavelengths, ultimately providing a comprehensive catalog of physical properties (astrometry, light curves, spectra). Particular focus is paid to sub-km NEOs, for which little data currently exists. These small bodies are essential to understanding the link between meteorites and asteroids, pose the most immediate impact hazard to the Earth, and are highly relevant to a variety of planetary mission scenarios. Accessing these targets is enabled through a combination of classical, queue, and target-of-opportunity observations carried out at 1- to 8-meter class facilities in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The MANOS observing strategy is specifically designed to rapidly characterize newly discovered NEOs before they fade beyond observational limits. MANOS will provide major advances in our understanding of the NEO population as a whole and for specific objects of interest. Here we present an overview of the survey, progress to date, and early science highlights including: (1) an estimate of the taxonomic distribution of spectral types for NEOs smaller than ~100 meters, (2) the distribution of rotational properties for approximately 100 previously unstudied objects, (3) models for the dynamical evolution of the overall NEO population over the past 0.5 Myr, and (4) progress in developing a new set of online tools at asteroid.lowell.edu that will enable near realtime public dissemination of our data while providing a portal to facilitate coordination efforts within the small body observer community.MANOS is supported through telescope allocations from NOAO and Lowell Observatory. We acknowledge funding support from an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship to N. Moskovitz and NASA NEOO grant

  18. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope as a Near-Earth Object discovery machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. Lynne; Slater, Colin T.; Moeyens, Joachim; Allen, Lori; Axelrod, Tim; Cook, Kem; Ivezić, Željko; Jurić, Mario; Myers, Jonathan; Petry, Catherine E.

    2018-03-01

    Using the most recent prototypes, design, and as-built system information, we test and quantify the capability of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to discover Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) and Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). We empirically estimate an expected upper limit to the false detection rate in LSST image differencing, using measurements on DECam data and prototype LSST software and find it to be about 450 deg-2. We show that this rate is already tractable with current prototype of the LSST Moving Object Processing System (MOPS) by processing a 30-day simulation consistent with measured false detection rates. We proceed to evaluate the performance of the LSST baseline survey strategy for PHAs and NEOs using a high-fidelity simulated survey pointing history. We find that LSST alone, using its baseline survey strategy, will detect 66% of the PHA and 61% of the NEO population objects brighter than H = 22 , with the uncertainty in the estimate of ± 5 percentage points. By generating and examining variations on the baseline survey strategy, we show it is possible to further improve the discovery yields. In particular, we find that extending the LSST survey by two additional years and doubling the MOPS search window increases the completeness for PHAs to 86% (including those discovered by contemporaneous surveys) without jeopardizing other LSST science goals (77% for NEOs). This equates to reducing the undiscovered population of PHAs by additional 26% (15% for NEOs), relative to the baseline survey.

  19. Project RAMA: Reconstructing Asteroids Into Mechanical Automata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Jason; Fagin, Max; Snyder, Michael; Joyce, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Many interesting ideas have been conceived for building space-based infrastructure in cislunar space. From O'Neill's space colonies, to solar power satellite farms, and even prospecting retrieved near earth asteroids. In all the scenarios, one thing remained fixed - the need for space resources at the outpost. To satisfy this need, O'Neill suggested an electromagnetic railgun to deliver resources from the lunar surface, while NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission called for a solar electric tug to deliver asteroid materials from interplanetary space. At Made In Space, we propose an entirely new concept. One which is scalable, cost effective, and ensures that the abundant material wealth of the inner solar system becomes readily available to humankind in a nearly automated fashion. We propose the RAMA architecture, which turns asteroids into self-contained spacecraft capable of moving themselves back to cislunar space. The RAMA architecture is just as capable of transporting conventional-sized asteroids on the 10-meter length scale as transporting asteroids 100 meters or larger, making it the most versatile asteroid retrieval architecture in terms of retrieved-mass capability. This report describes the results of the Phase I study funded by the NASA NIAC program for Made In Space to establish the concept feasibility of using space manufacturing to convert asteroids into autonomous, mechanical spacecraft. Project RAMA, Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, is designed to leverage the future advances of additive manufacturing (AM), in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and in-situ manufacturing (ISM) to realize enormous efficiencies in repeated asteroid redirect missions. A team of engineers at Made In Space performed the study work with consultation from the asteroid mining industry, academia, and NASA. Previous studies for asteroid retrieval have been constrained to studying only asteroids that are both large enough to be discovered, and small enough to be

  20. The Ginger-shaped Asteroid 4179 Toutatis: New Observations from a Successful Flyby of Chang'e-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiangchuan; Ji, Jianghui; Ye, Peijian; Wang, Xiaolei; Yan, Jun; Meng, Linzhi; Wang, Su; Li, Chunlai; Li, Yuan; Qiao, Dong; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Yuhui; Zhang, Tingxin; Liu, Peng; Jiang, Yun; Rao, Wei; Li, Sheng; Huang, Changning; Ip, Wing-Huen; Hu, Shoucun; Zhu, Menghua; Yu, Liangliang; Zou, Yongliao; Tang, Xianglong; Li, Jianyang; Zhao, Haibin; Huang, Hao; Jiang, Xiaojun; Bai, Jinming

    2013-12-01

    On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 conducted a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 +/- 120 meters from the asteroid's surface. The highest-resolution image, with a resolution of better than 3 meters, reveals new discoveries on the asteroid, e.g., a giant basin at the big end, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, and direct evidence of boulders and regolith, which suggests that Toutatis may bear a rubble-pile structure. Toutatis' maximum physical length and width are (4.75 × 1.95 km) +/-10%, respectively, and the direction of the +z axis is estimated to be (250 +/- 5°, 63 +/- 5°) with respect to the J2000 ecliptic coordinate system. The bifurcated configuration is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis, which is composed of two lobes (head and body). Chang'e-2 observations have significantly improved our understanding of the characteristics, formation, and evolution of asteroids in general.

  1. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  2. Requirements for a near-earth space tug vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, Charles R.

    1990-01-01

    The requirement for a small but powerful space tug, which will be capable of autonomous orbital rendezvous, docking and translating cargos between near-earth orbits by the end of this decade to support the growing national and international space infrastructure focused near the Space Station Freedom, is described. An aggregate of missions drives the need for a space tug including reboosting decaying satellites back to their operational altitudes, retrieving failed or exhausted satellites to Shuttle or SSF for on-orbit refueling or repair, and transporting a satellite servicer system with an FTS to ailing satellites for supervised in-place repair. It is shown that the development and operation of a space tug to perform such numerous missions is more cost effective than separate module and satellite systems to perform the same tasks.

  3. Near Earth Objects - a threat and an opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Jonathan R.

    2003-05-01

    In the past decade the hazard posed to the Earth by Near Earth Objects (NEOs) has generated considerable scientific and public interest. A number of major films, television programmes and media reports have brought the issue to public attention. From an educational perspective an investigation into NEOs and the effects of impacts on the Earth forms a topical and dynamic basis for study in a huge range of subjects, not just scientific. There are clear routes to chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology, but history, psychology, geography, palaeontology and geology are just a selection of other subjects involved. A number of projects have been established, mainly in the USA, to determine the extent of the hazard, and to develop ways of countering it, but the present situation is far from satisfactory. Current detection and follow-up programmes are underfunded and lack international coordination.

  4. Near-Earth Reconnection Ejecta at Lunar Distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.; Artemyev, A.; Lu, S.; Zhou, X.-Z.

    2018-04-01

    Near-Earth magnetotail reconnection leads to formation of earthward and tailward directed plasma outflows with an increased north-south magnetic field strength(|Bz|) at their leading edges. We refer to these regions of enhanced |Bz| and magnetic flux transport Ey as reconnection ejecta. They are composed of what have been previously referred to as earthward dipolarizing flux bundles (DFBs) and tailward rapid flux transport (RFT) events. Using two-point observations of magnetic and electric fields and particle fluxes by the Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun probes orbiting around Moon at geocentric distances R ˜ 60RE, we statistically studied plasma moments and particle energy spectra in RFTs and compared them with those observed within DFBs in the near-Earth plasma sheet by the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms probes. We found that the ion average temperatures and spectral slopes in RFTs at R ˜ 60RE are close to those in DFBs observed at 15 balance, the average RFT ion temperature corresponds to a lobe field BL˜20 nT. This leads us to suggest that the ion population within the tailward ejecta originated in the midtail plasma sheet at 20≤R≤30RE and propagated to the Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun location without undergoing any further energy gain. Conversely, electron temperatures in DFBs at 15 < R < 25RE are a factor of 2.5 higher than those in RFTs at R ˜ 60RE.

  5. Specification of the near-Earth space environment with SHIELDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jordanova, Vania Koleva; Delzanno, Gian Luca; Henderson, Michael Gerard; Godinez, Humberto C.; Jeffery, Christopher Andrew Munn

    2017-01-01

    Here, predicting variations in the near-Earth space environment that can lead to spacecraft damage and failure is one example of “space weather” and a big space physics challenge. A project recently funded through the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program aims at developing a new capability to understand, model, and predict Space Hazards Induced near Earth by Large Dynamic Storms, the SHIELDS framework. The project goals are to understand the dynamics of the surface charging environment (SCE), the hot (keV) electrons representing the source and seed populations for the radiation belts, on both macro- and micro-scale. Important physics questions related to particle injection and acceleration associated with magnetospheric storms and substorms, as well as plasma waves, are investigated. These challenging problems are addressed using a team of world-class experts in the fields of space science and computational plasma physics, and state-of-the-art models and computational facilities. A full two-way coupling of physics-based models across multiple scales, including a global MHD (BATS-R-US) embedding a particle-in-cell (iPIC3D) and an inner magnetosphere (RAM-SCB) codes, is achieved. New data assimilation techniques employing in situ satellite data are developed; these provide an order of magnitude improvement in the accuracy in the simulation of the SCE. SHIELDS also includes a post-processing tool designed to calculate the surface charging for specific spacecraft geometry using the Curvilinear Particle-In-Cell (CPIC) code that can be used for reanalysis of satellite failures or for satellite design.

  6. The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, N.; Manos Team

    2014-07-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are essential to understanding the origin of the Solar System through their compositional links to meteorites. As tracers of various regions within the Solar System they can provide insight to more distant, less accessible populations. Their relatively small sizes and complex dynamical histories make them excellent laboratories for studying ongoing Solar System processes such as space weathering, planetary encounters, and non-gravitational dynamics. Knowledge of their physical properties is essential to impact hazard assessment. Finally, the proximity of NEOs to Earth make them favorable targets for robotic and human exploration. However, in spite of their scientific importance, only the largest (km-scale) NEOs have been well studied and a representative sample of physical characteristics for sub-km NEOs does not exist. To address these issues we are conducting the Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS), a fully allocated multi-year survey of sub-km NEOs that will provide a large, uniform catalog of physical properties including light curves, spectra, and astrometry. From this comprehensive catalog, we will derive global properties of the NEO population, as well as identify individual targets that are of potential interest for exploration. We will accomplish these goals for approximately 500 mission-accessible NEOs across the visible and near-infrared ranges using telescope assets in both the northern and southern hemispheres. MANOS has been awarded large survey status by NOAO to employ Gemini-N, Gemini-S, SOAR, the Kitt Peak 4 m, and the CTIO 1.3 m. Access to additional facilities at Lowell Observatory (DCT 4.3 m, Perkins 72'', Hall 42'', LONEOS), the University of Hawaii, and the Catalina Sky Survey provide essential complements to this suite of telescopes. Targets for MANOS are selected based on three primary criteria: mission accessibility (i.e. Δ v 20), and observability. Our telescope assets allow us to obtain

  7. Preservation of Near-Earth Space for Future Generations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, John A.

    2007-05-01

    List of contributors; Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Introduction J. A. Simpson; Part II. Defining the Problem: 2. The Earth satellite population: official growth and constituents Nicholas L. Johnson; 3. The current and future environment: an overall assessment Donald J. Kessler; 4. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Europe Dietrich Rex; 5. Human survivability issues in the low Earth orbit space debris environment Bernard Bloom; 6. Protecting the space environment for astronomy Joel R. Primack; 7. Effects of space debris on commercial spacecraft - the RADARSAT example H. Robert Warren and M. J. Yelle; 8. Potential effects of the space debris environment on military space systems Albert E. Reinhardt; Part III. Mitigation of and Adaptation to the Space Environment: Techniques and Practices: 9. Precluding post-launch fragmentation of delta stages Irvin J. Webster and T. Y. Kawamura; 10. US international and interagency cooperation in orbital debris Daniel V. Jacobs; 11. ESA concepts for space debris mitigation and risk reduction Heiner Klinkrad; 12. Space debris: how France handles mitigation and adaptation Jean-Louis Marcé; 13. Facing seriously the issue of protection of the outer space environment Qi Yong Liang; 14. Space debris - mitigation and adaptation U. R. Rao; 15. Near Earth space contamination and counteractions Vladimir F. Utkin and S. V. Chekalin; 16. The current and future space debris environment as assessed in Japan Susumu Toda; 17. Orbital debris minimization and mitigation techniques Joseph P. Loftus Jr, Philip D. Anz-Meador and Robert Reynolds; Part IV. Economic Issues: 18. In pursuit of a sustainable space environment: economic issues in regulating space debris Molly K. Macauley; 19. The economics of space operations: insurance aspects Christopher T. W. Kunstadter; Part V. Legal Issues: 20. Environmental treatymaking: lessons learned for controlling pollution of outer space Winfried Lang; 21. Regulation of orbital

  8. Comparison of Meteoroid Flux Models for Near Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolshagen, G.; Liou, J.-C.; Dikarev, V.; Landgraf, M.; Krag, H.; Kuiper, W.

    2007-01-01

    Over the last decade several new models for the sporadic interplanetary meteoroid flux have been developed. These include the Meteoroid Engineering Model (MEM), the Divine-Staubach model and the Interplanetary Meteoroid Engineering Model (IMEM). They typically cover mass ranges from 10-12 g (or lower) to 1 g and are applicable for model specific sun distance ranges between 0.2 A.U. and 10 A.U. Near 1 A.U. averaged fluxes (over direction and velocities) for all these models are tuned to the well established interplanetary model by Gr?n et. al. However, in many respects these models differ considerably. Examples are the velocity and directional distributions and the assumed meteoroid sources. In this paper flux predictions by the various models to Earth orbiting spacecraft are compared. Main differences are presented and analysed. The persisting differences even for near Earth space can be seen as surprising in view of the numerous ground based (optical, radar) and in-situ (captured IDPs, in-situ detectors and analysis of retrieved hardware) measurements and simulations. Remaining uncertainties and potential additional studies to overcome the existing model discrepancies are discussed.

  9. The Catalina Sky Survey for Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, E.

    The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) specializes in the detection of the closest transients in our transient universe: near-Earth objects (NEOs). CSS is the leading NEO survey program since 2005, with a discovery rate of 500-600 NEOs per year. This rate is set to substantially increase starting in 2014 with the deployment of wider FOV cameras at both survey telescopes, while a proposed 3-telescope system in Chile would provide a new and significant capability in the Southern Hemisphere beginning as early as 2015. Elements contributing to the success of CSS may be applied to other surveys, and include 1) Real-time processing, identification, and reporting of interesting transients; 2) Human-assisted validation to ensure a clean transient stream that is efficient to the limits of the system (˜ 1σ); 3) an integrated follow-up capability to ensure threshold or high-priority transients are properly confirmed and followed up. Additionally, the open-source nature of the CSS data enables considerable secondary science (i.e. CRTS), and CSS continues to pursue collaborations to maximize the utility of the data.

  10. Discovery of Suprathermal Fe+ in and near Earth's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christon, S. P.; Hamilton, D. C.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D. G.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Spjeldvik, W. N.; Nylund, S. R.

    2017-12-01

    Suprathermal (87-212 keV/e) singly charged iron, Fe+, has been observed in and near Earth's equatorial magnetosphere using long-term ( 21 years) Geotail/STICS ion composition data. Fe+ is rare compared to dominant suprathermal solar wind and ionospheric origin heavy ions. Earth's suprathermal Fe+ appears to be positively associated with both geomagnetic and solar activity. Three candidate lower-energy sources are examined for relevance: ionospheric outflow of Fe+ escaped from ion layers altitude, charge exchange of nominal solar wind Fe+≥7, and/or solar wind transported inner source pickup Fe+ (likely formed by solar wind Fe+≥7 interaction with near sun interplanetary dust particles, IDPs). Semi-permanent ionospheric Fe+ layers form near 100 km altitude from the tons of IDPs entering Earth's atmosphere daily. Fe+ scattered from these layers is observed up to 1000 km altitude, likely escaping in strong ionospheric outflows. Using 26% of STICS's magnetosphere-dominated data at low-to-moderate geomagnetic activity levels, we demonstrate that solar wind Fe charge exchange secondaries are not an obvious Fe+ source then. Earth flyby and cruise data from Cassini/CHEMS, a nearly identical instrument, show that inner source pickup Fe+ is likely not important at suprathermal energies. Therefore, lacking any other candidate sources, it appears that ionospheric Fe+ constitutes at least an important portion of Earth's suprathermal Fe+, comparable to observations at Saturn where ionospheric origin suprathermal Fe+ has also been observed.

  11. NEOview: Near Earth Object Data Discovery and Query

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibbetts, M.; Elvis, M.; Galache, J. L.; Harbo, P.; McDowell, J. C.; Rudenko, M.; Van Stone, D.; Zografou, P.

    2013-10-01

    Missions to Near Earth Objects (NEOs) figure prominently in NASA's Flexible Path approach to human space exploration. NEOs offer insight into both the origins of the Solar System and of life, as well as a source of materials for future missions. With NEOview scientists can locate NEO datasets, explore metadata provided by the archives, and query or combine disparate NEO datasets in the search for NEO candidates for exploration. NEOview is a software system that illustrates how standards-based interfaces facilitate NEO data discovery and research. NEOview software follows a client-server architecture. The server is a configurable implementation of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) Table Access Protocol (TAP), a general interface for tabular data access, that can be deployed as a front end to existing NEO datasets. The TAP client, seleste, is a graphical interface that provides intuitive means of discovering NEO providers, exploring dataset metadata to identify fields of interest, and constructing queries to retrieve or combine data. It features a powerful, graphical query builder capable of easing the user's introduction to table searches. Through science use cases, NEOview demonstrates how potential targets for NEO rendezvous could be identified by combining data from complementary sources. Through deployment and operations, it has been shown that the software components are data independent and configurable to many different data servers. As such, NEOview's TAP server and seleste TAP client can be used to create a seamless environment for data discovery and exploration for tabular data in any astronomical archive.

  12. NEOWISE REACTIVATION MISSION YEAR TWO: ASTEROID DIAMETERS AND ALBEDOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, C. R.; Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E. A.; Masiero, J.; Sonnett, S. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: cnugent@ipac.caltech.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2016-09-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission continues to detect, track, and characterize minor planets. We present diameters and albedos calculated from observations taken during the second year since the spacecraft was reactivated in late 2013. These include 207 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and 8885 other asteroids. Of the NEAs, 84% NEAs did not have previously measured diameters and albedos by the NEOWISE mission. Comparison of sizes and albedos calculated from NEOWISE measurements with those measured by occultations, spacecraft, and radar-derived shapes shows accuracy consistent with previous NEOWISE publications. Diameters and albedos fall within ±∼20% and ±∼40%, 1-sigma, respectively, of those measured by these alternate techniques. NEOWISE continues to preferentially discover near-Earth objects which are large (>100 m), and have low albedos.

  13. Working Group Reports and Presentations: Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John

    2006-01-01

    The study and utilization of asteroids will be an economical way to enable exploration of the solar system and extend human presence in space. There are thousands of near-earth objects (NEOs) that we will be able to reach. They offer resources, transportation, and exploration platforms, but also present a potential threat to civilization. Asteroids play a catastrophic role in the history of the Earth. Geological records indicate a regular history of massive impacts, which astronomical observations confirm is likely to continue with potentially devastating consequences. However, study and exploration of near earth asteroids can significantly increase advanced warning of an Earth impact, and potentially lead to the technology necessary to avert such a collision. Efforts to detect and prevent cataclysmic events would tend to foster and likely require international cooperation toward a unified goal of self-preservation. Exploration of asteroids will help us to understand our history and perhaps save our future. Besides the obvious and compelling scientific and security drivers for asteroid research and exploration, there are numerous engineering and industrial applications for near-term asteroid exploration. We have strong evidence that some asteroids are metal rich. Some are water and organic rich. They can be reached with a very low fuel cost compared to other solar system destinations. Once we reach them, there are efficient, simple extraction technologies available that would facilitate utilization. In addition, the costs of returning extracted resources from asteroids will be a fraction of the cost to return similar resources from the moon to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). These raw materials, extracted and shipped at relatively low cost, can be used to manufacture structures, fuel, and products which could be used to foster mankind s further exploration of the solar system. Asteroids also have the potential to offer transport to several destinations in the solar system

  14. Visible Wavelength Reflectance Spectra and Taxonomies of Near-Earth Objects from Apache Point Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammergren, Mark; Brucker, Melissa J.; Nault, Kristie A.; Gyuk, Geza; Solontoi, Michael R.

    2015-11-01

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are interesting to scientists and the general public for diverse reasons: their impacts pose a threat to life and property; they present important albeit biased records of the formation and evolution of the Solar System; and their materials may provide in situ resources for future space exploration and habitation.In January 2015 we began a program of NEO astrometric follow-up and physical characterization using a 17% share of time on the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO). Our 500 hours of annual observing time are split into frequent, short astrometric runs (see poster by K. A. Nault et. al), and half-night runs devoted to physical characterization (see poster by M. J. Brucker et. al for preliminary rotational lightcurve results). NEO surface compositions are investigated with 0.36-1.0 μm reflectance spectroscopy using the Dual Imaging Spectrograph (DIS) instrument. As of August 25, 2015, including testing runs during fourth quarter 2014, we have obtained reflectance spectra of 68 unique NEOs, ranging in diameter from approximately 5m to 8km.In addition to investigating the compositions of individual NEOs to inform impact hazard and space resource evaluations, we may examine the distribution of taxonomic types and potential trends with other physical and orbital properties. For example, the Yarkovsky effect, which is dependent on asteroid shape, mass, rotation, and thermal characteristics, is believed to dominate other dynamical effects in driving the delivery of small NEOs from the main asteroid belt. Studies of the taxonomic distribution of a large sample of NEOs of a wide range of sizes will test this hypothesis.We present a preliminary analysis of the reflectance spectra obtained in our survey to date, including taxonomic classifications and potential trends with size.Acknowledgements: Based on observations obtained with the Apache Point Observatory 3.5-meter telescope, which

  15. THE PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS ASTEROID 2004 BL86: A FRAGMENT OF A DIFFERENTIATED ASTEROID

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Sanchez, Juan A.; Takir, Driss; Corre, Lucille Le [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Gary, Bruce L. [Hereford Arizona Observatory, Hereford, AZ 85615 (United States); Thomas, Cristina A. [NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Hardersen, Paul S. [Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202 (United States); Ogmen, Yenal [Green Island Observatory, Geçitkale, Maǧusa, via Mersin 10  North Cyprus (Turkey); Benni, Paul [Acton Sky Portal, 3 Concetta Circle, Acton, MA 01720 (United States); Kaye, Thomas G. [Raemor Vista Observatory, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650 (United States); Gregorio, Joao [Atalaia Group, Crow Observatory (Portalegre) Travessa da Cidreira, 2 rc D, 2645-039 Alcabideche (Portugal); Garlitz, Joe [1155 Hartford Street, Elgin, OR 97827 (United States); Polishook, David [Weizmann Institute of Science, Herzl Street 234, Rehovot, 7610001 (Israel); Nathues, Andreas, E-mail: reddy@psi.edu [Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077 Göttingen (Germany)

    2015-09-20

    near-Earth asteroids (1993 VW, 1998 KK17, and 2000 XH44) that were observed by Burbine et al. also have spectral properties similar to 2004 BL86. The presence of eucrites with anomalous oxygen isotope ratios compared to the howardites, eucrites, and diogenites meteorites from Vesta suggests the possible presence of multiple differentiated bodies in the inner main belt or the contamination of Vesta’s surface with exogenic material. The spectral properties of both anomalous and Vestan eucrites are degenerate, making it difficult to identify the parent bodies of anomalous eucrites in the main belt and the NEO population using remote sensing. This makes it difficult to link 2004 BL86 directly to Vesta, although the Vesta family is the largest contributor of V-types to near-Earth space.

  16. Geotechnical Tests on Asteroid Simulant Orgueil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Alexander D'marco

    2017-01-01

    through the surface of an asteroid. Most of the known asteroids are believed to be left over material during the formation of the solar system that never accreted to form planets. Asteroids can be found in several groups such as Trojan Asteroids, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the main asteroid belt. The Trojan Asteroids orbit the 4th and 5th Lagrange points of major planets in the Solar System while the NEA's have orbits that are close to and sometimes intersect with Earths orbit and the Main Asteroid Belt which is found between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. Gravitational perturbations can alter the orbit of asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt causing them to move closer to earth causing them to become in the NEA class.

  17. Searching for Solar System Wide Binaries with Pan-STARRS-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Matthew J.; Protopapas, P.; Tholen, D. J.

    2007-10-01

    Roughly 60% of the observing time of the Pan-STARRS-1 (PS1) telescope will be dedicated to a "3pi steradian" survey with an observing cadence that is designed for the detection of near-Earth asteroids and slow-moving solar system bodies. Over this course of its 3.5 year cience mission, this unprecedented survey will discover nearly every asteroid, Trojan, Centaur, long-period comet, short-period comet, and trans-neptunian object (TNO) brighter than magnitude R=23. This census will be used to address a large number of questions regarding the physical and dynamical properties of the various small body populations of the solar system. Roughly 1-2% of TNOs are wide binaries with companions at separations greater than 1 arcsec and brightness differences less than 2 magnitudes (Kern & Elliot 2006; Noll et al 2007). These can be readily detected by PS1; we will carry out such a search with PS1 data. To do so, we will modify the Pan-STARRS Moving Object Processing System (MOPS) such that it will associate the components of resolved or marginally resolved binaries, link such pairs of detections obtained at different epochs, and the estimate the relative orbit of the binary. We will also determine the efficiency with which such binaries are detected as a function of the binary's relative orbit and the relative magnitudes of the components. Based on an estimated 7000 TNOs that PS1 will discover, we anticipate finding 70-140 wide binaries. The PS1 data, 60 epochs over three years, is naturally suited to determining the orbits of these objects. Our search will accurately determine the binary fraction for a variety of subclasses of TNOs.

  18. Asteroid 2017 FZ2 et al.: signs of recent mass-shedding from YORP?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2018-01-01

    The first direct detection of the asteroidal Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, a phenomenon that changes the spin states of small bodies due to thermal reemission of sunlight from their surfaces, was obtained for (54509) YORP 2000 PH5. Such an alteration can slowly increase the rotation rate of asteroids, driving them to reach their fission limit and causing their disruption. This process can produce binaries and unbound asteroid pairs. Secondary fission opens the door to the eventual formation of transient but genetically related groupings. Here, we show that the small near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 2017 FZ2 was a co-orbital of our planet of the quasi-satellite type prior to their close encounter on 2017 March 23. Because of this flyby with the Earth, 2017 FZ2 has become a non-resonant NEA. Our N-body simulations indicate that this object may have experienced quasi-satellite engagements with our planet in the past and it may return as a co-orbital in the future. We identify a number of NEAs that follow similar paths, the largest named being YORP, which is also an Earth's co-orbital. An apparent excess of NEAs moving in these peculiar orbits is studied within the framework of two orbit population models. A possibility that emerges from this analysis is that such an excess, if real, could be the result of mass shedding from YORP itself or a putative larger object that produced YORP. Future spectroscopic observations of 2017 FZ2 during its next visit in 2018 (and of related objects when feasible) may be able to confirm or reject this interpretation.

  19. Orbits of the Asteroids Discovered at the Molėtai Observatory in 2000–2004

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Černis K.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents statistics of the asteroids observed and discovered at the Molėtai Observatory, Lithuania in 2000–2004 within the project for astrometric observations of the near-Earth objects (NEOs, the main belt asteroids and comets. CCD observations of asteroids were obtained with the 35/51 cm Maksutov-type meniscus telescope and the 1.65 m Ritchey-Chretien reflector. In the Minor Planet Circulars and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (2000–2004 we published 6629 astrometric positions of 1114 asteroids. Among them 78 were newly discovered asteroids at Molėtai, a few NEOs were found by our team independently. For the 67 asteroids discovered at Molėtai the precise orbits were calculated. Because of small number of observations, a few asteroids have low-precision orbits and some asteroids have been lost. For seven objects we present their ephemerides for 2015.

  20. Spectrophotometric Rapid-Response Classification of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Butler, Nat; Axelrod, Tim; Moskovitz, Nick; Jedicke, Robert; Pichardo, Barbara; Reyes-Ruiz, Mauricio

    2015-08-01

    Small NEOs are, as a whole, poorly characterized, and we know nothing about the physical properties of the majority of all NEOs. The rate of NEO discoveries is increasing each year, and projects to determine the physical properties of NEOs are lagging behind. NEOs are faint, and generally even fainter by the time that follow-up characterizations can be made days or weeks after their discovery. There is a need for a high-throughput, high-efficiency physical characterization strategy in which hundreds of faint NEOs can be characterized each year. Broadband photometry in the near-infrared is sufficiently diagnostic to assign taxonomic types, and hence constrain both the individual and ensemble properties of NEOs.We present results from our rapid response near-infrared spectrophotometric characterization program of NEOs. We are using UKIRT (on Mauna Kea) and the RATIR instrument on the 1.5m telescope at the San Pedro Martir Observatory (Mexico) to allow us to make observations most nights of the year in robotic/queue mode. We derive taxonomic classifications for our targets using machine-learning techniques that are trained on a large sample of measured asteroid spectra. For each target we assign a probability for it to belong to a number of different taxa. Target selection, observation, data reduction, and analysis are highly automated, requiring only a minimum of user interaction, making this technique powerful and fast. Our targets are NEOs that are generally too faint for other characterization techniques, or would require many hours of large telescope time.

  1. On the asymmetric evolution of the perihelion distances of near-Earth Jupiter family comets around the discovery time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, A.; Fernández, J. A.; Pais, P.

    2012-12-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth Jupiter family comets (NEJFCs) that came close to or crossed the Earth's orbit at the epoch of their discovery (perihelion distances qdisc time evolution of the mean perihelion distance bar{q} of the NEJFCs at the discovery time of each comet (taken as t = 0) and a past-future asymmetry of bar{q} in an interval -1000 yr, +1000 yr centred on t = 0, confirming previous results. The asymmetry indicates that there are more comets with greater q in the past than in the future. For comparison purposes, we also analysed the population of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q > 4.5 AU) and with absolute magnitudes H time a large sample of fictitious comets, cloned from the observed NEJFCs, over a 20 000 yr time interval and started the integration before the comet's discovery time, when it had a perihelion distance q > 2 AU. By assuming that NEJFCs are mostly discovered when they decrease their perihelion distances below a certain threshold qthre = 1.05 AU for the first time during their evolution, we were able to reproduce the main features of the observed bar{q} evolution in the interval [-1000, 1000] yr with respect to the discovery time. Our best fits indicate that 40% of the population of NEJFCs would be composed of young, fresh comets that entered the region q spending at least 3000 yr in the q family comets (JFCs).

  2. Post-Chelyabinsk Risk Assessment for Near Earth Objects (NEOs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boslough, M.; Harris, A. W.

    2014-12-01

    The widely-accepted NEO risk assessments published in the 1990s concluded that the largest asteroids (> 1 km) dominated the hazard. Even though large NEOs represent only a tiny fraction of the population because of a power-law size distribution, the potential for global catastrophe means that the contribution from these low-probability, high-consequence events is large. This conclusion led to the Spaceguard survey, which has now catalogued about 90% of these objects, none of which is on a collision course. The survey has reduced the assessed risk from this size range by more than an order of magnitude because completion is highest for the largest and most dangerous. The relative risk from objects tens of meters in diameter is therefore increasing.The absolute assessed risk from airbursts caused by objects of this size is also higher for two reasons. First, they may be more frequent than previously thought because of an underestimated population. Second, they are significantly more damaging than assumed in the original assessment because (in most cases) they more efficiently couple energy to the surface than nuclear explosions. Last year's half-megaton airburst over Chelyabinsk, Russia, appears to challenge the notion that such events are extremely rare—especially when also considering the 1908 Tunguska event along with decades of infrasound bolide data showing higher-than-expected numbers of large airbursts.We will present a new analysis of the risk based on updated estimates for the population of undiscovered NEOs, taking into account the enhanced damage potential of collisional airbursts. Merging the survey population estimates with the bolide frequency estimates suggests a population of tens-of-meters sized bodies that may be a factor of three or so greater than estimated from surveys alone. Uncertainty in the population of airburst-class NEOs remains quite large, and can only be unambiguously reduced by expanded surveys focused on objects in the tens

  3. Asteroid taxonomy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectivity of asteroid surfaces over the wavelength range of 0.3 to 1.1 μm can be used to classify these objects onto several broad groups with similar spectral characteristics. The three most recently developed taxonomies group the asteroids into 9, 11 or 14 different classes, depending on the technique used to perform the analysis. The distribution of the taxonomic classes shows that darker and redder objects become more dominant at larger heliocentric distances, while the rare asteroid types are found more frequently among the small objects of the planet-crossing population

  4. The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS) -- Science Highlights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Thirouin, Audrey; Binzel, Richard; Burt, Brian; Christensen, Eric; DeMeo, Francesca; Endicott, Thomas; Hinkle, Mary; Mommert, Michael; Person, Michael; Polishook, David; Siu, Hosea; Thomas, Cristina; Trilling, David; Willman, Mark

    2015-08-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are essential to understanding the origin of the Solar System through their compositional links to meteorites. As tracers of other parts of the Solar System they provide insight to more distant populations. Their small sizes and complex dynamical histories make them ideal laboratories for studying ongoing processes of planetary evolution. Knowledge of their physical properties is essential to impact hazard assessment. And the proximity of NEOs to Earth make them favorable targets for a variety of planetary mission scenarios. However, in spite of their importance, only the largest NEOs are well studied and a representative sample of physical properties for sub-km NEOs does not exist.MANOS is a multi-year physical characterization survey, originally awarded survey status by NOAO. MANOS is targeting several hundred mission-accessible, sub-km NEOs across visible and near-infrared wavelengths to provide a comprehensive catalog of physical properties (astrometry, light curves, spectra). Accessing these targets is enabled through classical, queue, and target-of-opportunity observations carried out at 1- to 8-meter class facilities in the northern and southern hemispheres. Our observing strategy is designed to rapidly characterize newly discovered NEOs before they fade beyond observational limits.Early progress from MANOS includes: (1) the de-biased taxonomic distribution of spectral types for NEOs smaller than ~100 meters, (2) the distribution of rotational properties for approximately 100 previously unstudied NEOs, (3) detection of the fastest known rotation period of any minor planet in the Solar System, (4) an investigation of the influence of planetary encounters on the rotational properties of NEOs, (5) dynamical models for the evolution of the overall NEO population over the past 0.5 Myr, and (6) development of a new set of online tools at asteroid.lowell.edu that will enable near realtime public dissemination of our data products while

  5. Study of the Asteroid Florence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2018-06-01

    Asteroid Florence was discovered at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia (March 1981). Paul Chodas, manager of CNEOS-JPL said: “Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began” [1]. The asteroid passed 7.1 million kilometers away from the earth [2]. The GDSCC-NASA discovered that the asteroid has two small moons. The diameter of Florence is 4.5 kilometers, and the sizes of the two moons are probably between 100 – 300 meters across. The inner moon has a rotation period around Florence of about 8 hours, and the outer moon has a period of about 25 hours [3]. From our Observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we captured several pictures, videos and astrometry data during several hours during three days. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [4]. The pictures were captured with the following equipment: CGE PRO 1400 CELESTRON and STL-1001 SBIG camera. Astrometry and photometry was carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements and the rotation period. Summary and conclusions: We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity = 0.422548 +/- 0.000994, semi-major axis = 1.76675 +/- 0.00313 A.U, orbital inclination = 22.128 +/- 0.029 deg, longitude of the ascending node = 336.0960 +/- 0.0013 deg, argument of perihelion = 27.861 +/- 0.016, mean motion = 0.41970 +/- 0.00112 deg/d, perihelion distance = 1.0202151 +/- 5.27e-5 A.U, aphelion distance = 2.51329 +/- 0.00625 A.U, absolute magnitude = 14.4. The parameters were calculated based on 281 observations. Dates: 2017 September 01 to 05 with mean residual = 0.19 arcseconds. The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.35 years (857.74 days). The rotation period of the asteroid is 2.3 hours. Note: Spaceweather published our video on September 1-2017 [5].[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/large-asteroid-to-safely-pass-earth-on-sept-1[2] http

  6. THE ORIGIN OF ASTEROID 162173 (1999 JU3)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campins, Humberto; De León, Julia; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Gayon-Markt, Julie; Delbo, Marco; Michel, Patrick; Licandro, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU 3 (henceforth JU 3 ) is a potentially hazardous asteroid and the target of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa-2 sample return mission. JU 3 is also a backup target for two other sample return missions: NASA's OSIRIS-REx and the European Space Agency's Marco Polo-R. We use dynamical information to identify an inner-belt, low-inclination origin through the ν 6 resonance, more specifically, the region with 2.15 AU 3 is 0.07 ± 0.01, and this inner-belt region contains four well-defined low-albedo asteroid families (Clarissa, Erigone, Polana, and Sulamitis), plus a recently identified background population of low-albedo asteroids outside these families. Only two of these five groups, the background and the Polana family, deliver JU 3 -sized asteroids to the ν 6 resonance, and the background delivers significantly more JU 3 -sized asteroids. The available spectral evidence is also diagnostic; the visible and near-infrared spectra of JU 3 indicate it is a C-type asteroid, which is compatible with members of the background, but not with the Polana family because it contains primarily B-type asteroids. Hence, this background population of low-albedo asteroids is the most likely source of JU 3

  7. Physical modeling and high-performance GPU computing for characterization, interception, and disruption of hazardous near-Earth objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplinger, Brian Douglas

    For the past few decades, both the scientific community and the general public have been becoming more aware that the Earth lives in a shooting gallery of small objects. We classify all of these asteroids and comets, known or unknown, that cross Earth's orbit as near-Earth objects (NEOs). A look at our geologic history tells us that NEOs have collided with Earth in the past, and we expect that they will continue to do so. With thousands of known NEOs crossing the orbit of Earth, there has been significant scientific interest in developing the capability to deflect an NEO from an impacting trajectory. This thesis applies the ideas of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) theory to the NEO disruption problem. A simulation package was designed that allows efficacy simulation to be integrated into the mission planning and design process. This is done by applying ideas in high-performance computing (HPC) on the computer graphics processing unit (GPU). Rather than prove a concept through large standalone simulations on a supercomputer, a highly parallel structure allows for flexible, target dependent questions to be resolved. Built around nonclassified data and analysis, this computer package will allow academic institutions to better tackle the issue of NEO mitigation effectiveness.

  8. Dynamical Investigation of Asteroid 66391 (1999 KW4)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, Daniel J.; Fahnestock, E. G.; Ostro, S. J.; Margot, J. L.; Benner, L. A.; Broschart, S. B.; Bellerose, J.; Giorgini, J. D.; Nolan, M. C.; Magri, C.; Pravec, P.; Scheirich, P.; Rose, R.; Jurgens, R. F.; Suzuki, S.; DeJong, E. M.

    2006-09-01

    Radar imaging and simulation of the binary near-Earth asteroid 66391 (1999 KW4) reveals a system with highly unusual physical and dynamical properties (Ostro et al., DPS 2006). Classical treatments and previous analyses of binary-system dynamics have made assumptions about the component shapes that are not valid for the KW4 system. We have explored the full dynamics of the KW4 system via numerical simulations that solve the equations of motion for the coupled evolution of orbit and rotation, using radar-derived physical models, and using dynamical constraints from the observations to guide our initial conditions. Our simulations model the translational (or orbital) dynamics as the relative motion between the body centers of mass and model the rotational dynamics using the Euler equations and attitude kinematic equations for each body. All the equations are driven by the mutual gravitational potential, which is an explicit function of the relative position and attitude of the two bodies. Propagation of the system's dynamical evolution over time spans of months has been made tractable by using a novel variational integrator that requires only one evaluation per time step but conserves the symplectic properties of the dynamical system, and by implementing the evaluations on a parallel computer, using up to 256 processors. Our simulations use the component shapes, masses, and average orbit as initial conditions for integrations of the components' spins and mutual orbit, taking into consideration the actual gravitational potentials produced by the model shapes and the coupling between the components' motions. Our results reveal this NEA to have extraordinary physical and dynamical properties, which suggest intriguing possibilities for formation and evolution mechanisms.

  9. Dynamical properties of the Watsonia asteroid family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsirvoulis, G.; Novakovic, B.; Knezevic, Z.; Cellino, A.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: In recent years, a rare class of asteroids has been discovered [1], with its distinguishing characteristic being the anomalous polarimetric properties of its members. Named Barbarians, after (234) Barbara, the prototype of the class, these asteroids show negative polarization at unusually high phase-angles compared to normal asteroids. Motivated by the fact that some of the few discovered Barbarians seemed to be related to the Watsonia asteroid family, Cellino et al. [2] performed a search for more Barbarians among its members. A positive result of this search led to the conclusion that Watsonia is indeed an important repository of Barbarian asteroids. Based on these findings, we decided to analyze this family in detail. Basic information: According to available data, Watsonia is an L-type asteroid family, located in the middle of the main asteroid belt (2.68 < a_{p} < 2.82 au), with low to moderate orbital eccentricities (0.1 < e_{p} < 0.15) and relatively high inclinations (16.5^{o} < i_{p} < 18^{o}). Methodology: The first step in our study is to derive a reliable list of Watsonia family members. To that purpose, we first calculate the synthetic proper elements [3] of an extended catalogue including numbered, as well as multi and single opposition asteroids, in a wide region around the family. To this catalogue we apply the Hierarchical Clustering Method (HCM)[4] to determine the membership of the family, coinciding with the requirement that all confirmed neighboring Barbarians are included (see figure). To detect potential interlopers and refine the membership list, additional data such as the SDSS colors and WISE albedos are used. Moreover, we identify all relevant resonances and analyze the dynamical characteristics of the region occupied by the family. Then we estimate the age of the family, and finally, we perform numerical integrations of test particles to investigate possible dynamical links to other known Barbarians and to the near-Earth

  10. 3122 Florence Lightcurve Analysis at Asteroids Observers (OBAS)- MPPD: 2017 Sep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigo, Onofre; Fornas, Gonzalo; Arce, Enrique; Mas, Vicente; Carreño, Alfonso; Brines, Pedro; Fornas, Alvaro; Herrro, David; Lozano, Juan; Garcia, Faustino

    2018-04-01

    We report on the results of photometric analysis of 3122 Florence, a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by Asteroids Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database effort that was initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.

  11. A Numerical Examination of the Long-Term Coherency of Meteoroid Streams in Near-Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grazier, K. R.; Lipschutz, M. E.

    2000-05-01

    address these open issues, we simulate the trajectories of several near-Earth meteoroid streams--some with orbital elements corresponding to suspected streams, others randomly chosen. To integrate the trajectories as accurately as possible, we use an error-optimized modified 13th order Störmer integration scheme, capable of handling close planet/meteoroid approaches (Grazier et al., 1998). Using Drummond's (1979) d' criteria to determine stream membership and coherency as a function of time, we find that stream coherency beyond 100 Ky--certainly beyond 1 My--exists but is rare.

  12. Dynamic Processes of Cross-Tail Current in the Near-Earth Magnetotail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xing-Qiang, Lu; Zhi-Wei, Ma

    2009-01-01

    Current dynamic processes in realistic magnetotail geometry are studied by Hall magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations under various driven conditions and Hall effects. Associated with the external driving force, a thin current sheet with a broad extent is built up in the near-Earth magnetotail. The time evolution for the formation of the current sheet comprises two phases: slow growth and a fast impulsive phase before the near-Earth disruption of the current sheet resulting from the fast magnetic reconnection. The simulation results indicate that as the external driving force increases, the site and the tailward speed of the near-Earth current disruption region are closer to the Earth and faster, respectively. Whether the near-Earth disruption of the current sheet takes place or not is mainly controlled by Hall effects. It is found that there is no sudden disruption of the current sheet in the near-Earth region if the ion inertial length is below d i = 0.04. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  13. THERMAL TOMOGRAPHY OF ASTEROID SURFACE STRUCTURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, Alan W.; Drube, Line, E-mail: alan.harris@dlr.de [German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)

    2016-12-01

    Knowledge of the surface thermal inertia of an asteroid can provide insight into its surface structure: porous material has a lower thermal inertia than rock. We develop a means to estimate thermal inertia values of asteroids and use it to show that thermal inertia appears to increase with spin period in the case of main-belt asteroids (MBAs). Similar behavior is found on the basis of thermophysical modeling for near-Earth objects (NEOs). We interpret our results in terms of rapidly increasing material density and thermal conductivity with depth, and provide evidence that thermal inertia increases by factors of 10 (MBAs) to 20 (NEOs) within a depth of just 10 cm. Our results are consistent with a very general picture of rapidly changing material properties in the topmost regolith layers of asteroids and have important implications for calculations of the Yarkovsky effect, including its perturbation of the orbits of potentially hazardous objects and those of asteroid family members after the break-up event. Evidence of a rapid increase of thermal inertia with depth is also an important result for studies of the ejecta-enhanced momentum transfer of impacting vehicles (“kinetic impactors”) in planetary defense.

  14. Matched Filter Processing for Asteroid Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gural, Peter S.; Larsen, Jeffrey A.; Gleason, Arianna E.

    2005-10-01

    Matched filter (MF) processing has been shown to provide significant performance gains when processing stellar imagery used for asteroid detection, recovery, and tracking. This includes extending detection ranges to fainter magnitudes at the noise limit of the imagery and operating in dense cluttered star fields as encountered at low Galactic latitudes. The MF software has been shown to detect 40% more asteroids in high-quality Spacewatch imagery relative to the currently implemented approaches, which are based on moving target indicator (MTI) algorithms. In addition, MF detections were made in dense star fields and in situations in which the asteroid was collocated with a star in an image frame, cases in which the MTI algorithms failed. Thus, using legacy sensors and optics, improved detection sensitivity is achievable by simply upgrading the image-processing stream. This in turn permits surveys of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population farther from opposition, for smaller sizes, and in directions previously inaccessible to current NEA search programs. A software package has been developed and made available on the NASA data services Web site that can be used for asteroid detection and recovery operations utilizing the enhanced performance capabilities of MF processing.

  15. Spin rate distribution of small asteroids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Harris, A. W.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Warner, B. D.; Kušnirák, Peter; Hornoch, Kamil; Pray, D. P.; Higgins, D.; Oey, J.; Galád, Adrián; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.; Világi, J.; Husárik, M.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Chiorny, V. G.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Cooney jr., W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Stephens, R.; Dyvig, R.; Reddy, V.; Ries, J.G.; Colas, F.; Lecacheux, J.; Durkee, R.; Masi, G.; Koff, R.; Goncalves, R.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 197, č. 2 (2008), s. 497-504 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA205/05/0604 Grant - others: NASA (US) NAG5-13244; NASA (US) NNG06GI32G; VEGA(SK) 1/3074/06; VEGA(SK) 1/3067/06; VEGA(SK) 2/7009/27 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids rotation * photometry * near-Earth objects Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.268, year: 2008

  16. Business analysis: The commercial mission of the International Asteroid Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    The mission of the International Asteroid Mission (IAM) is providing asteroidal resources to support activities in space. The short term goal is to initiate IAM by mining a near-Earth, hydrous carbonaceous chondrite asteroid to service the nearer-term market of providing cryogenic rocket fuel in low lunar orbit (LLO). The IAM will develop and contract for the building of the transportation vehicles and equipment necessary for this undertaking. The long-term goal is to expand operations by exploiting asteroids in other manners, as these options become commercially viable. The primary business issues are what revenue can be generated from the baseline mission, how much will the mission cost, and how funding for this mission can be raised. These issues are addressed.

  17. The size distribution of the earth-approaching asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, D. L.

    1993-01-01

    The discovery circumstances of the first asteroids ever observed outside the earth's atmosphere but within the neighborhood of the earth-moon system are described. Four natural objects with diameters in the range 5-50 m were detected during a search for earth-approaching asteroids conducted each month at the 0.91-m Spacewatch Telescope at Kitt Peak. An additional 19 earth approachers with sizes in the range 50 m to 5 km were discovered. These obervations determine the cumulative flux of asteroids near earth as a function of absolute magnitude. For asteroids larger than about 100 m, a power-law dependence with exponent of about 0.9 is observed, consistent with their evolution from the main-belt population. At about 10 m, the flux is more than two orders of magnitude greater than this power-law extrapolation.

  18. Asteroids II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Gehrels, T.; Matthews, M.S.

    1989-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to asteroids. A description of exploration techniques, details on their physical properties, discussions of their origin and evolution, an examination of their interrelations with meteorites and comets followed by an attempt at a big picture framework are given

  19. [Anthropogenic sources of radiation hazard in the near-Earth space].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedoseev, G A

    2004-01-01

    All plausible artificial radioactive sources entering the near-Earth space (NES) were systematized and consequences of various large radiation accidents and catastrophes to Earth and NES were analyzed. Aggressive "population" of near-Earth orbits by space stations with rotating crews, unmanned research platforms and observatories extends "borderlines" of the noosphere raising at the same time concerns about the noosphere radiation safety and global radioecology. Specifically, consideration is given to the facts of negative effects of space power reactor facilities on results of orbital astrophysical investigations.

  20. Predicting How Close Near-Earth Asteroids Will Come to Earth in the Next Five Years Using Only Kepler's Algorithm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wright, Melissa

    1998-01-01

    .... The goal of th is investigation was to see if using only Kepler's algorithm, which ignores the gravitational pull of other planets, our moon, and Jupiter, was sufficient to predict close encounters with Earth...

  1. Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Harris, A. W.

    2006-01-01

    We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a

  2. Spin Rate of Asteroid (54509) 2000 PH5 Increasing Due to the YORP Effect

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Taylor, P.A.; Margot, J. L.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Scheeres, D.J.; Pravec, Petr; Lowry, S.C.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Nolan, M. C.; Ostro, S. J.; Benner, L. A. M.; Giorgini, J. D.; Magri, C.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 316, č. 5822 (2007), s. 274-277 ISSN 0036-8075 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : asteroids rotation * near-Earth objects * radar observations Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 26.372, year: 2007

  3. Spheroidal models of the exterior gravitational field of Asteroids Bennu and Castalia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sebera, Josef; Bezděk, Aleš; Pešek, I.; Henych, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 272, July (2016), s. 70-79 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH13071 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : asteroids surfaces * near-Earth objects * geophysics Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.131, year: 2016

  4. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-301, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M. [California Institute of Technology, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, 1200 California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Wright, E. L. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Bauer, J. M. [University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Grav, T.; Sonnett, S., E-mail: Joseph.Masiero@jpl.nasa.gov [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E Fort Lowell Road #106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  5. NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Three: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, E.; Nugent, C.; Cutri, R. M.; Wright, E. L.; Bauer, J. M.; Grav, T.; Sonnett, S.

    2017-01-01

    The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) reactivation mission has completed its third year of surveying the sky in the thermal infrared for near-Earth asteroids and comets. NEOWISE collects simultaneous observations at 3.4 and 4.6  μ m of solar system objects passing through its field of regard. These data allow for the determination of total thermal emission from bodies in the inner solar system, and thus the sizes of these objects. In this paper, we present thermal model fits of asteroid diameters for 170 NEOs and 6110 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) detected during the third year of the survey, as well as the associated optical geometric albedos. We compare our results with previous thermal model results from NEOWISE for overlapping sample sets, as well as diameters determined through other independent methods, and find that our diameter measurements for NEOs agree to within 26% (1 σ ) of previously measured values. Diameters for the MBAs are within 17% (1 σ ). This brings the total number of unique near-Earth objects characterized by the NEOWISE survey to 541, surpassing the number observed during the fully cryogenic mission in 2010.

  6. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: Identifying Regional Elemental Enrichment on Asteroids

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-01-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT an...

  7. Sporadic radio emission connected with a definite manifestation of solar activity in the near Earth space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudnic, A. V.; Zaljubovski, I. I.; Kartashev, V. M.; Shmatko, E. S.

    1985-01-01

    Sporadic radio emission of near Earth space at the frequency of 38 MHz is shown to appear in the event of a rapid development of instabilities in the ionospheric plasma. The instabilities are generated due to primary ionospheric disturbances occurring under the influence of solar chromospheric flares.

  8. Problem of short-term forecasting of near-earth space state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eselevich, V.G.; Ashmanets, V.I.; Startsev, S.A.

    1996-01-01

    The paper deals with actual and practically important problem of investigation and forecasting of state condition during magnetic storms. The available methods of forecasting of near-earth space state are analyzed. Forecasting of magnetic storms was conducted for control of space vehicles. Quasi-determinate method of magnetic storm forecasting is suggested. 13 refs., 3 figs

  9. Electromagnetic weather in the near-earth space in dependence on solar wind parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belov, B.A.; Burtsev, Yu.A.; Dremukhina, L.A.; Papitashvili, V.O.

    1995-01-01

    Analysis of modern models of electrical and magnetic fields, electrical current and plasma convection is carried out with the purpose of quantitative description of the near-earth electrodynamic parameters. Possibility of utilizing such models simultaneously with radar and geomagnetic observations for continuous real time control of electromagnetic weather in the earth magnetosphere is considered. Refs. 24, refs. 3

  10. Remote sensing of a near-Earth neutral line during the 5 October 2000 substorm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Nagata

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we examined the continuous motions of a near-Earth neutral line during the recovery phase of the 5 October 2000 substorm. Estimation was based on the PSBL ion beam model proposed by Onsager (1991 and the Geotail observations. Estimated distances from the Earth ranged from 20 to 60 RE and retreated tailward at velocities of 250 and 300 km/s. This event initiated with the arrival of solar wind discontinuity. Simultaneous observations of electromagnetic field and electrons indicate the existence of earthward propagating waves associated with field-aligned currents. Based on these observations, we suggest that the source of the PSBL ion beams was the retreating near-Earth neutral line formed by the compression of the magnetosphere. Two scenarios of near-Earth neutral line motion in the tail dynamics are also proposed. One is the formation of plural neutral lines to create a long plasmoid. The other is the oscillation of one neutral line between the near-Earth region and the mid-tail stagnant plasmoid.

  11. The Size Distribution of Very Small Near Earth Objects As Measured by Warm Spitzer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trilling, David E.; Hora, J.; Burt, B.; Delbo, M.; Emery, J.; Fazio, G.; Fuentes, C.; Harris, A.; Mueller, M.; Mommert, M.; Smith, H.

    2013-01-01

    We have carried out a pilot search for Near Earth Objects (NEOs) with 84 hours of Warm Spitzer time in April, 2013. Results are obtained through a multi-step process: implanting synthetic objects in the Spitzer data stream; processing the Spitzer data; linking non-sidereal sources to form plausible

  12. The Near Earth Object Scout Spacecraft: A Low Cost Approach to in-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koontz, Steven L.; Condon, Gerald; Graham, Lee; Bevilacqua, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe a micro/nano satellite spacecraft and a supporting mission profile and architecture designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonable cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO Scout. NEO Scout spacecraft are to be placed in GTO, GEO, or cis-lunar space as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GTO or beyond and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO scout system is to design the mission timeline and spacecraft to rendezvous with and land on the target NEOs during close approach to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high- impulse propulsion systems. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented along with detailed trajectory calculations. The use of micro/nano satellites in low-cost interplanetary exploration is attracting increasing attention and is the subject of several annual workshops and published design studies (1-4). The NEO population consists of those asteroids and short period comets orbiting the Sun with a perihelion of 1.3 astronomical units or less (5-8). As of July 30, 2013 10065 Near-Earth objects have been discovered. The spin rate, mass, density, surface physical (especially mechanical) properties, composition, and mineralogy of the vast majority of these objects are highly uncertain and the limited available telescopic remote sensing data imply a very diverse population (5-8). In-situ measurements by robotic spacecraft are urgently needed to provide the characterization data needed to support hardware and mission design for more ambitious human and robotic NEO operations. Large numbers of NEOs move into close proximity with the Earth-Moon system every year (9). The JPL Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) (10) has produced detailed mission profile and delta V requirements for various NEO missions ranging from 30

  13. Bayesian modeling of the mass and density of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Mathias, Donovan

    2017-10-01

    Mass and density are two of the fundamental properties of any object. In the case of near earth asteroids, knowledge about the mass of an asteroid is essential for estimating the risk due to (potential) impact and planning possible mitigation options. The density of an asteroid can illuminate the structure of the asteroid. A low density can be indicative of a rubble pile structure whereas a higher density can imply a monolith and/or higher metal content. The damage resulting from an impact of an asteroid with Earth depends on its interior structure in addition to its total mass, and as a result, density is a key parameter to understanding the risk of asteroid impact. Unfortunately, measuring the mass and density of asteroids is challenging and often results in measurements with large uncertainties. In the absence of mass / density measurements for a specific object, understanding the range and distribution of likely values can facilitate probabilistic assessments of structure and impact risk. Hierarchical Bayesian models have recently been developed to investigate the mass - radius relationship of exoplanets (Wolfgang, Rogers & Ford 2016) and to probabilistically forecast the mass of bodies large enough to establish hydrostatic equilibrium over a range of 9 orders of magnitude in mass (from planemos to main sequence stars; Chen & Kipping 2017). Here, we extend this approach to investigate the mass and densities of asteroids. Several candidate Bayesian models are presented, and their performance is assessed relative to a synthetic asteroid population. In addition, a preliminary Bayesian model for probablistically forecasting masses and densities of asteroids is presented. The forecasting model is conditioned on existing asteroid data and includes observational errors, hyper-parameter uncertainties and intrinsic scatter.

  14. Spins, shapes, and orbits for potentially hazardous near-earth objects by NEON

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muinonen, K.; Jørgensen, U.G.

    2006-01-01

    radiative transfer, scattering, celestial mechanics, methods: analytical, methods: data analysis, methods: numerical, methods: statistical, techniques: photometric, astrometry, comets: general, minor planets, asteroids......radiative transfer, scattering, celestial mechanics, methods: analytical, methods: data analysis, methods: numerical, methods: statistical, techniques: photometric, astrometry, comets: general, minor planets, asteroids...

  15. Thermal-Infrared Surveys of Near-Earth Object Diameters and Albedos with Spitzer and IRTF/MIRSI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Hora, Joseph L.; Chesley, Steven; Emery, Josh; Fazio, Giovanni; Harris, Alan W.; Moskovitz, Nick; Mueller, Michael; Smith, Howard

    2015-08-01

    More than 12000 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) have been discovered over the past few decades and current discovery surveys find on average 4 new NEOs every night. In comparison to asteroid discovery, the physical characterization of NEOs lags far behind: measured diameters and albedos exist only for roughly 10% of all known NEOs. We describe a current and a future observing program that provide diameter and albedo measurements of a large number of NEOs.In our Spitzer Space Telescope Exploration Science program 'NEOSurvey', we are performing a fast and efficient flux-limited survey in which we measure the diameters and albedos of ~600 NEOs in a total of 710 hrs of observing time. We measure the thermal emission of our targets at 4.5 micron and combine these measurements with optical data in a thermal model. Our diameters and albedos come with highly realistic uncertainties that account for a wide range of potential asteroid properties. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties, including diameters, albedos, and flux density data. This catalog is publicly accessible and provides the latest results usually within 2 weeks after the observation.Starting in 2016, we will also make use of the refurbished and recommissioned MIRSI mid-infrared imaging camera on NASA's InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) to derive the diameters and albedos of up to 750 NEOs over a period of 3 yrs. MIRSI will be equipped with an optical camera that will allow for simultaneous optical imaging, which will improve our thermal modeling results. With MIRSI, we will focus on newly discovered NEOs that are close to Earth and hence relatively bright.The results from both programs, together with already exisiting diameter and albedo results from the literature, will form the largest database of NEO physical properties available to date. With this data set, we will be able to refine the size distribution of small NEOs and the corresponding impact frequency, and compare the

  16. Capture orbits around asteroids by hitting zero-velocity curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Hongwei; Zhang, Wei; Ma, Guangfu

    2017-12-01

    The problem of capturing a spacecraft from a heliocentric orbit into a high parking orbit around binary asteroids is investigated in the current study. To reduce the braking Δ V, a new capture strategy takes advantage of the three-body gravity of the binary asteroid to lower the inertial energy before applying the Δ V. The framework of the circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) is employed for the binary asteroid system. The proposed capture strategy is based on the mechanism by which inertial energy can be decreased sharply near zero-velocity curves (ZVCs). The strategy has two steps, namely, hitting the target ZVC and raising the periapsis by a small Δ V at the apoapsis. By hitting the target ZVC, the positive inertial energy decreases and becomes negative. Using a small Δ V, the spacecraft inserts into a bounded orbit around the asteroid. In addition, a rotating mass dipole model is employed for elongated asteroids, which leads to dynamics similar to that of the CR3BP. With this approach, the proposed capture strategy can be applied to elongated asteroids. Numerical simulations validate that the proposed capture strategy is applicable for the binary asteroid 90 Antiope and the elongated asteroid 216 Kleopatra.

  17. International CJMT-1 Workshop on Asteroidal Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Wing-Huen

    2014-03-01

    An international workshop on asteroidal science was held between October 16 and 17, 2012, at the Macau University of Science and Technology gathering together experts on asteroidal study in China, Japan, Macao and Taiwan. For this reason, we have called it CJMT-1 Workshop. Though small in sizes, the asteroids orbiting mainly between the orbit of Mars and of Jupiter have important influence on the evolution of the planetary bodies. Topics ranging from killer asteroids to space resources are frequently mentioned in news reports with prominence similar to the search for water on Mars. This also means that the study of asteroids is very useful in exciting the imagination and interest in science of the general public. Several Asian countries have therefore developed long-term programs integrating ground-based observations and space exploration with Japan being the most advanced and ambitious as demonstrated by the very successful Hayabusa mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa. In this volume we will find descriptions of the mission planning of Hayabusa II to the C-type near-Earth asteroid, 1999 JU3. Not to be outdone, China's Chang-E 2 spacecraft was re-routed to a flyby encounter with asteroid 4179 Toutatis in December 2012. It is planned that in the next CJMT workshop, we will have the opportunity to learn more about the in-depth data analysis of the Toutatis observations and the progress reports on the Hayabusa II mission which launch date is set to be July 2014. Last but not least, the presentations on the ground-based facilities as described in this volume will pave the way for coordinated observations of asteroidal families and Trojan asteroids - across Asia from Taiwan to Uzbekistan. Such international projects will serve as an important symbol of good will and peaceful cooperation among the key members of this group. Finally, I want to thank the Space Science Institute, Macao University of Science and Technology, for generous support, and its staff members

  18. Generalized Calibration of the Polarimetric Albedo Scale of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupishko, D. F.

    2018-03-01

    Six different calibrations of the polarimetric albedo scale of asteroids have been published so far. Each of them contains its particular random and systematic errors and yields its values of geometric albedo. On the one hand, this complicates their analysis and comparison; on the other hand, it becomes more and more difficult to decide which of the proposed calibrations should be used. Moreover, in recent years, new databases on the albedo of asteroids obtained from the radiometric surveys of the sky with the orbital space facilities (the InfraRed Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the Japanese astronomical satellite AKARI (which means "light"), the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE)) have appeared; and the database on the diameters and albedos of asteroids obtained from their occultations of stars has substantially increased. Here, we critically review the currently available calibrations and propose a new generalized calibration derived from the interrelations between the slope h and the albedo and between P min and the albedo. This calibration is based on all of the available series of the asteroid albedos and the most complete data on the polarization parameters of asteroids. The generalized calibration yields the values of the polarimetric albedo of asteroids in the system unified with the radiometric albedos and the albedos obtained from occultations of stars by asteroids. This, in turn, removes the difficulties in their comparison, joint analysis, etc.

  19. Near-Earth space hazards and their detection (Scientific session of the Physical Sciences Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 27 March 2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    A scientific session of the Physical Sciences Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), titled "Near-Earth space hazards and their detection", was held on 27 March 2013 at the conference hall of the Lebedev Physical Institute, RAS. The agenda posted on the website of the Physical Sciences Division, RAS, http://www.gpad.ac.ru, included the following reports: (1) Emel'yanenko V V, Shustov B M (Institute of Astronomy, RAS, Moscow) "The Chelyabinsk event and the asteroid-comet hazard"; (2) Chugai N N (Institute of Astronomy, RAS, Moscow) "A physical model of the Chelyabinsk event"; (3) Lipunov V M (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow) "MASTER global network of optical monitoring"; (4) Beskin G M (Special Astrophysical Observatory, RAS, Arkhyz, Karachai-Cirkassian Republic) "Wide-field optical monitoring systems with subsecond time resolution for the detection and study of cosmic threats". The expanded papers written on the base of oral reports 1 and 4 are given below. • The Chelyabinsk event and the asteroid-comet hazard, V V Emel'yanenko, B M Shustov Physics-Uspekhi, 2013, Volume 56, Number 8, Pages 833-836 • Wide-field subsecond temporal resolution optical monitoring systems for the detection and study of cosmic hazards, G M Beskin, S V Karpov, V L Plokhotnichenko, S F Bondar, A V Perkov, E A Ivanov, E V Katkova, V V Sasyuk, A Shearer Physics-Uspekhi, 2013, Volume 56, Number 8, Pages 836-842

  20. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    By virtue of their landing on Earth, meteorites reside in near-Earth object (NEO) orbits prior to their arrival. Thus the population of observable NEOs, in principle, gives the best representation of meteorite source bodies. By linking meteorites to NEOs, and linking NEOs to their most likely main-belt source locations, we seek to gain insight into the original solar system formation locations for different meteorite classes. To forge the first link between meteorites and NEOs, we have developed a three dimensional method for quantitative comparisons between laboratory measurements of meteorites and telescopic measurements of near-Earth objects. We utilize meteorite spectra from the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) database and NEO data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) as a mathematical tool, we treat asteroid and meteorite spectra identically in the calculation of 1-micron and 2-micron geometric band centers and their band area ratios (BARs). Using these identical numerical parameters we quantitatively compare the spectral properties of S-, Sq-, Q- and V-type NEOs with the spectral properties of the meteorites in the H, L, LL and HED meteorite classes. For each NEO spectrum, we assign a set of probabilities for it being related to each of these meteorite classes. Our NEO- meteorite correlation probabilities are then convolved with NEO-source region probabilities to yield a final set of meteorite-source region correlations. An apparent (significant at the 2.1-sigma level) source region signature is found for the H chondrites to be preferentially delivered to the inner solar system through the 3:1 mean motion resonance. A 3:1 resonance H chondrite source region is consistent with the short cosmic ray exposure ages known for H chondrites. The spectroscopy of asteroids is subject to several sources of inherent error. The source region model used a variety of S-type spectra without

  1. Enabling Communication and Navigation Technologies for Future Near Earth Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israel, David J.; Heckler, Gregory; Menrad, Robert; Hudiburg, John; Boroson, Don; Robinson, Bryan; Cornwell, Donald

    2016-01-01

    In 2015, the Earth Regimes Network Evolution Study (ERNESt) proposed an architectural concept and technologies that evolve to enable space science and exploration missions out to the 2040 timeframe. The architectural concept evolves the current instantiations of the Near Earth Network and Space Network with new technologies to provide a global communication and navigation network that provides communication and navigation services to a wide range of space users in the near Earth domain. The technologies included High Rate Optical Communications, Optical Multiple Access (OMA), Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN), User Initiated Services (UIS), and advanced Position, Navigation, and Timing technology. This paper describes the key technologies and their current technology readiness levels. Examples of science missions that could be enabled by the technologies and the projected operational benefits of the architecture concept to missions are also described.

  2. Estimation of absorbed dose for poor shields under conditions of near-earth space flight

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konyukov, V.V.; Krajnyukov, V.I.; Trufanov, A.I.

    1995-01-01

    Estimation of electron absorbed dose in materials of a space vehicle for poor shields under conditions of near-earth space flight is carried out. Impact of power and angular distribution of incidence electrons and radiation scattering processes under conditions of complex geometry and multitude of materials of flight vehicle elements and nodes is studied through simulator model by example of isolating layer of aluminium-polyethylene assembly. 3 refs.; 2 figs

  3. Identifying Accessible Near-Earth Objects For Crewed Missions With Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Stijn De; Parker, Jeffrey S.; Herman, Jonathan F. C.; Aziz, Jonathan; Barbee, Brent W.; Englander, Jacob A.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the expansion of the Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) with Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP). The research investigates the existence of new launch seasons that would have been impossible to achieve using only chemical propulsion. Furthermore, this paper shows that SEP can be used to significantly reduce the launch mass and in some cases the flight time of potential missions as compared to the current, purely chemical trajectories identified by the NHATS project.

  4. A possible case of radially antisunward propagating substorm onset in the near-earth magnetotail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, R.E.; McEntire, R.W.; Potemra, T.A.

    1990-01-01

    It is generally thought that the local effects associated with substorm onset in the near-Earth magnetotail (R '' E ) have a component of propagation which is radially earthward. This study presents a case during which it is possible that the local effects of substorm onset propagated radially antisunward. We examine energetic ion and magnetic field data and energetic particle data from the geosynchronous satellite 1982-019 during a period of weak substorm activity on 11 June 1985. Although the effects of this event on the ground were very weak, the substorm had a dramatic effect on at least one portion of the near-Earth magnetotail. During the period of interest the spacecraft were in an unusually close radial alignment. The data show that phenomena which we associate with the local effects of substorm onset began at or near geosynchronous before they were observed at the station (R = 8.8R E ). We believe that this event is best explained by a near-Earth disruption of the cross-tail current sheet and the consequent formation of a substorm current wedge, and that this process had a component of expansion antisunward down the tail. (author)

  5. An Island Coalescence Scenario for Near-Earth Current Disruption in the Magnetotail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhi-Wei, Ma; Xing-Qiang, Lu

    2009-01-01

    A current disruption and dipolarization scenario associated with island coalescences in the near-Earth region is proposed. The thin and elongated current-sheet built up during the growth phase is unstable due to a tearing mode instability that leads to formation of multiple magnetic islands (or magnetic flux ropes in the three dimensional case) in the near-Earth region. The growth rate of the tearing mode should be different in different locations because the rate is in general determined by the external driving force and the local plasma sheet properties. When the rate of the magnetic reconnection in the mid-tail region around 20R E is much larger than that in other locations, the strong bulk earthward flows resulting from the fast reconnection in the mid-tail drive the earthward convection and the coalescence of the magnetic islands. Consequently, the cross-tail current in the near-Earth region is suddenly disrupted and the geometry of the magnetic field changes from tail-like to dipolar-like in the ideal time scale. This proposed scenario is tested by Hall MHD simulation and is compared with the observations. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  6. Samples of Asteroid Surface Ponded Deposits in Chondritic Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Lee, R.; Le, L.

    2004-01-01

    One of the many unexpected observations of asteroid 433 Eros by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission was the many ponds of fine-grained materials [1-3]. The ponds have smooth surfaces, and define equipotential surfaces up to 10's of meters in diameter [4]. The ponds have a uniformly sub-cm grain size and appear to be cohesive or indurated to some degree, as revealed by slumping. The ponds appear to be concentrated within 30 degrees of the equator of Eros, where gravity is lowest. There is some insight into the mineralogy and composition of the ponds surfaces from NEAR spectroscopy [2,4,5,6]. Compared to the bulk asteroid, ponds: (1) are distinctly bluer (high 550/760 nm ratio), (2) have a deeper 1um mafic band, (3) have reflectance elevated by 5%.

  7. A Cubesat Asteroid Mission: Propulsion Trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Bur, Michael J.; Burke, Laura M.; Fittje, James E.; Kohout, Lisa L.; Fincannon, James; Packard, Thomas W.; Martini, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    A conceptual design was performed for a 6-U cubesat for a technology demonstration to be launched on the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) test launch EM-1, to be launched into a free-return translunar trajectory. The mission purpose was to demonstrate use of electric propulsion systems on a small satellite platform. The candidate objective chosen was a mission to visit a Near-Earth asteroid. Both asteroid fly-by and asteroid rendezvous missions were analyzed. Propulsion systems analyzed included cold-gas thruster systems, Hall and ion thrusters, incorporating either Xenon or Iodine propellant, and an electrospray thruster. The mission takes advantage of the ability of the SLS launch to place it into an initial trajectory of C3=0.

  8. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Gates, Michele; Johnson, Lindley; Chodas, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Reeves, David; Ticker, Ronald

    2016-07-01

    To achieve its long-term goal of sending humans to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to proceed in a series of incrementally more complex human spaceflight missions. Today, human flight experience extends only to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and should problems arise during a mission, the crew can return to Earth in a matter of minutes to hours. The next logical step for human spaceflight is to gain flight experience in the vicinity of the Moon. These cis-lunar missions provide a "proving ground" for the testing of systems and operations while still accommodating an emergency return path to the Earth that would last only several days. Cis-lunar mission experience will be essential for more ambitious human missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, which will require weeks, months, or even years of transit time. In addition, NASA has been given a Grand Challenge to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them. Obtaining knowledge of asteroid physical properties combined with performing technology demonstrations for planetary defense provide much needed information to address the issue of future asteroid impacts on Earth. Hence the combined objectives of human exploration and planetary defense give a rationale for the Asteroid Re-direct Mission (ARM). Mission Description: NASA's ARM consists of two mission segments: 1) the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM), the first robotic mission to visit a large (greater than ~100 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA), collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface along with regolith samples, demonstrate a planetary defense technique, and return the asteroidal material to a stable orbit around the Moon; and 2) the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), in which astronauts will take the Orion capsule to rendezvous and dock with the robotic vehicle, conduct multiple extravehicular activities to explore the boulder, and return to Earth with samples. NASA's proposed

  9. A decision analysis approach for risk management of near-earth objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Robert C.; Jones, Thomas D.; Chapman, Clark R.

    2014-10-01

    Risk management of near-Earth objects (NEOs; e.g., asteroids and comets) that can potentially impact Earth is an important issue that took on added urgency with the Chelyabinsk event of February 2013. Thousands of NEOs large enough to cause substantial damage are known to exist, although only a small fraction of these have the potential to impact Earth in the next few centuries. The probability and location of a NEO impact are subject to complex physics and great uncertainty, and consequences can range from minimal to devastating, depending upon the size of the NEO and location of impact. Deflecting a potential NEO impactor would be complex and expensive, and inter-agency and international cooperation would be necessary. Such deflection campaigns may be risky in themselves, and mission failure may result in unintended consequences. The benefits, risks, and costs of different potential NEO risk management strategies have not been compared in a systematic fashion. We present a decision analysis framework addressing this hazard. Decision analysis is the science of informing difficult decisions. It is inherently multi-disciplinary, especially with regard to managing catastrophic risks. Note that risk analysis clarifies the nature and magnitude of risks, whereas decision analysis guides rational risk management. Decision analysis can be used to inform strategic, policy, or resource allocation decisions. First, a problem is defined, including the decision situation and context. Second, objectives are defined, based upon what the different decision-makers and stakeholders (i.e., participants in the decision) value as important. Third, quantitative measures or scales for the objectives are determined. Fourth, alternative choices or strategies are defined. Fifth, the problem is then quantitatively modeled, including probabilistic risk analysis, and the alternatives are ranked in terms of how well they satisfy the objectives. Sixth, sensitivity analyses are performed in

  10. The NEOTωIST mission (Near-Earth Object Transfer of angular momentum spin test)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drube, Line; Harris, Alan W.; Engel, Kilian; Falke, Albert; Johann, Ulrich; Eggl, Siegfried; Cano, Juan L.; Ávila, Javier Martín; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Michel, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    We present a concept for a kinetic impactor demonstration mission, which intends to change the spin rate of a previously-visited asteroid, in this case 25143 Itokawa. The mission would determine the efficiency of momentum transfer during an impact, and help mature the technology required for a kinetic impactor mission, both of which are important precursors for a future space mission to deflect an asteroid by collisional means in an emergency situation. Most demonstration mission concepts to date are based on changing an asteroid's heliocentric orbit and require a reconnaissance spacecraft to measure the very small orbital perturbation due to the impact. Our concept is a low-cost alternative, requiring only a single launch. Taking Itokawa as an example, an estimate of the order of magnitude of the change in the spin period, δP, with such a mission results in δP of 4 min (0.5%), which could be detectable by Earth-based observatories. Our preliminary study found that a mission concept in which an impactor produces a change in an asteroid's spin rate could provide valuable information for the assessment of the viability of the kinetic-impactor asteroid deflection concept. Furthermore, the data gained from the mission would be of great benefit for our understanding of the collisional evolution of asteroids and the physics behind crater and ejecta-cloud development.

  11. The DLR AsteroidFinder for NEOs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottola, Stefano; Kuehrt, Ekkehard; Michaelis, Harald; Hoffmann, Harald; Spietz, Peter; Jansen, Frank; Thimo Grundmann, Jan; Hahn, Gerhard; Montenegro, Sergio; Findlay, Ross; Boerner, Anko; Messina, Gabriele; Behnke, Thomas; Tschentscher, Matthias; Scheibe, Karsten; Mertens, Volker; Heidecke, Ansgar

    Potential Earth-impacting asteroids that spend most of their time interior to Earth's orbit are extremely difficult to be observed from the ground and remain largely undetected. Firstly, they are mostly located at small solar elongations, where the sky brightness and their faintness due to the large phase angle prevents their discovery. Secondly, these objects tend to have very long synodic orbital periods, which makes observation opportunities rare and impact warning times short. Because of these limitations, even the advent of next generation ground-based asteroid surveys is not likely to radically improve the situation (Veres et al. Icarus 203, p472, 2009). On the other hand, a small satellite with a suitable design can observe close to the Sun and detect these objects efficiently against a dark sky background. For this reason, DLR, the German Aerospace Center, has selected AsteroidFinder as the first experiment to be launched under its new compact satellite national program. The primary goal of the mission is to detect and characterize Near Earth Objects (NEOs), with a particular focus on the population of objects completely contained within Earth's orbit (IEOs or Inner Earth Objects). Current dynamical models predict the existence of more than 1000 such objects down to a size of 100m, of which, due to the abovementioned observation difficulties, only 10 have been discovered to date. Benefitting from the vantage point of a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), AsteroidFinder makes use of a small optical telescope to scan those regions of the sky that are close to the Sun, and therefore beyond the reach of ground based observatories. By estimating the population, the size and the orbital distribution of IEOs, AsteroidFinder will contribute to our knowledge of the inner Solar System, and to the assessment of the impact hazard for the Earth. A secondary goal of the mission is to demonstrate techniques that enable the space-based detection of space debris in the cm size range

  12. Asteroids in the High Cadence Transient Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, J.; Fuentes, C.; Förster, F.; Maureira, J. C.; San Martín, J.; Littín, J.; Huijse, P.; Cabrera-Vives, G.; Estévez, P. A.; Galbany, L.; González-Gaitán, S.; Martínez, J.; de Jaeger, Th.; Hamuy, M.

    2018-03-01

    We report on the serendipitous observations of solar system objects imaged during the High cadence Transient Survey 2014 observation campaign. Data from this high-cadence wide-field survey was originally analyzed for finding variable static sources using machine learning to select the most-likely candidates. In this work, we search for moving transients consistent with solar system objects and derive their orbital parameters. We use a simple, custom motion detection algorithm to link trajectories and assume Keplerian motion to derive the asteroid’s orbital parameters. We use known asteroids from the Minor Planet Center database to assess the detection efficiency of the survey and our search algorithm. Trajectories have an average of nine detections spread over two days, and our fit yields typical errors of {σ }a∼ 0.07 {au}, σ e ∼ 0.07 and σ i ∼ 0.°5 in semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination, respectively, for known asteroids in our sample. We extract 7700 orbits from our trajectories, identifying 19 near-Earth objects, 6687 asteroids, 14 Centaurs, and 15 trans-Neptunian objects. This highlights the complementarity of supernova wide-field surveys for solar system research and the significance of machine learning to clean data of false detections. It is a good example of the data-driven science that Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will deliver.

  13. On the generation of solitary waves observed by Cluster in the near-Earth magnetosheath

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pickett, J. S.; Chen, L. J.; Kahler, S. W.; Santolík, Ondřej; Goldstein, M. L.; Lavraud, B.; Décréau, P. M. E.; Kessel, R.; Lucek, E.; Lakhina, G. S.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Gurnett, D. A.; Cornilleau-Wehrlin, N.; Fazakerley, A.; Rème, H.; Balogh, A.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, - (2005), s. 181-193 ISSN 1023-5809 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ME 650; GA ČR(CZ) GA202/03/0832; GA MŠk(CZ) 1P05ME811 Grant - others: NASA GSFC(US) NAG5-9974; NASA GSFC(US) NNG04GB98G; NSF(US) ATM 03-27450; NSF(US) 0307319; ESA PECS(XE) 98025 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : solitary waves * Cluster * near-Earth magnetosheath Subject RIV: BL - Plasma and Gas Discharge Physics Impact factor: 1.464, year: 2005

  14. Classification of IRAS asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.; Veeder, G.J.

    1989-01-01

    Albedos and spectral reflectances are essential for classifying asteroids. For example, classes E, M and P are indistinguishable without albedo data. Colorometric data are available for about 1000 asteroids but, prior to IRAS, albedo data was available for only about 200. IRAS broke this bottleneck by providing albedo data on nearly 2000 asteroids. Hence, excepting absolute magnitudes, the albedo and size are now the most common asteroid physical parameters known. In this chapter the authors present the results of analyses of IRAS-derived asteroid albedos, discuss their application to asteroid classification, and mention several studies which might be done to exploit further this data set

  15. Did ASAS-SN Kill the Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidate PG1302-102?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tingting; Gezari, Suvi; Miller, M. Coleman

    2018-05-01

    Graham et al. reported a periodically varying quasar and supermassive black hole binary candidate, PG1302-102 (hereafter PG1302), which was discovered in the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS). Its combined Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) and CRTS optical light curve is well fitted to a sinusoid of an observed period of ≈1884 days and well modeled by the relativistic Doppler boosting of the secondary mini-disk. However, the LINEAR+CRTS light curve from MJD ≈52,700 to MJD ≈56,400 covers only ∼2 cycles of periodic variation, which is a short baseline that can be highly susceptible to normal, stochastic quasar variability. In this Letter, we present a reanalysis of PG1302 using the latest light curve from the All-sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), which extends the observational baseline to the present day (MJD ≈58,200), and adopting a maximum likelihood method that searches for a periodic component in addition to stochastic quasar variability. When the ASAS-SN data are combined with the previous LINEAR+CRTS data, the evidence for periodicity decreases. For genuine periodicity one would expect that additional data would strengthen the evidence, so the decrease in significance may be an indication that the binary model is disfavored.

  16. Absence of satellites of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gehrels, T.; Drummond, J.D.; Levenson, N.A.

    1987-01-01

    The absence of satellites within 0.1-7.0 arcmin of minor planets noted in the present CCD imaging survey is judged consistent with previous theoretical studies of collisions in which it is held that satellites would have to be larger than about 30 km in order to be collisionally stable. In view of tidal stability, the only main belt asteroid satellites which could conceivably possess stability over eons are near-contact binaries. Any recent collisional debris would be chaotic and collisionally unstable. 15 references

  17. Near-Earth object hazardous impact: A Multi-Criteria Decision Making approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Lozano, J M; Fernández-Martínez, M

    2016-11-16

    The impact of a near-Earth object (NEO) may release large amounts of energy and cause serious damage. Several NEO hazard studies conducted over the past few years provide forecasts, impact probabilities and assessment ratings, such as the Torino and Palermo scales. These high-risk NEO assessments involve several criteria, including impact energy, mass, and absolute magnitude. The main objective of this paper is to provide the first Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) approach to classify hazardous NEOs. Our approach applies a combination of two methods from a widely utilized decision making theory. Specifically, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology is employed to determine the criteria weights, which influence the decision making, and the Technique for Order Performance by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) is used to obtain a ranking of alternatives (potentially hazardous NEOs). In addition, NEO datasets provided by the NASA Near-Earth Object Program are utilized. This approach allows the classification of NEOs by descending order of their TOPSIS ratio, a single quantity that contains all of the relevant information for each object.

  18. THE MISSION ACCESSIBLE NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS SURVEY (MANOS): FIRST PHOTOMETRIC RESULTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thirouin, A.; Moskovitz, N.; Burt, B. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 W Mars Hill Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, F. E.; Person, M. J. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Christensen, E. [University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Polishook, D. [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Weizmann Institute, Herzl St 234, Rehovot, 7610001 (Israel); Thomas, C. A. [Planetary Science Institute (PSI), 1700 E Fort Lowell Road 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Trilling, D.; Hinkle, M.; Avner, D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, P.O. Box 6010, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ 86001 (United States); Willman, M. [University of Hawaii, Pukalani, HI 96788 (United States); Aceituno, F. J., E-mail: thirouin@lowell.edu [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, S/N, Granada, E-18008 (Spain)

    2016-12-01

    The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey aims to physically characterize sub-km near-Earth objects (NEOs). We report the first photometric results from the survey that began in 2013 August. Photometric observations were performed using 1–4 m class telescopes around the world. We present rotational periods and light curve amplitudes for 86 sub-km NEOs, though in some cases only lower limits are provided. Our main goal is to obtain light curves for small NEOs (typically, sub-km objects) and estimate their rotational periods, light curve amplitudes, and shapes. These properties are used for a statistical study to constrain overall properties of the NEO population. A weak correlation seems to indicate that smaller objects are more spherical than larger ones. We also report seven NEOs that are fully characterized (light curve and visible spectra) as the most suitable candidates for a future human or robotic mission. Viable mission targets are objects fully characterized, with Δ v {sup NHATS} ≤ 12 km s{sup −1}, and a rotational period P  > 1 hr. Assuming a similar rate of object characterization as reported in this paper, approximately 1230 NEOs need to be characterized in order to find 100 viable mission targets.

  19. The Near-Earth Orbital Debris Problem and the Challenges for Environment Remediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liou, Jer-Chyi

    2012-01-01

    The near-Earth space environment has been gradually polluted with orbital debris (OD) since the beginning of space activities 55 years ago. Although this problem has been known to the research community for decades, the public was, in general, unaware of the issue until the anti-satellite test conducted by China in 2007 and the collision between Cosmos 2251 and the operational Iridium 33 in 2009. The latter also underlined the potential of an ongoing collision cascade effect (the "Kessler Syndrome") in the low Earth orbit (LEO, the region below 2000 km altitude). Recent modeling results have indicated that mitigation measures commonly adopted by the international space community will be insufficient to stabilize the LEO debris population. To better limit the OD population increase, more aggressive actions must be considered. There are three options for OD environment remediation-removal of large/massive intact objects to address the root cause of the OD population growth problem, removal of 5-mm-to-1 cm debris to mitigate the main mission-ending threats for the majority of operational spacecraft, and prevention of major debris-generating collisions as a temporary means to slow down the OD population increase. The technology, engineering, and cost challenges to carry out any of these three options are monumental. It will require innovative ideas, game-changing technologies, and major collaborations at the international level to address the OD problem and preserve the near-Earth environment for future generations.

  20. Distribution of energetic oxygen and hydrogen in the near-Earth plasma sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronberg, E. A.; Grigorenko, E. E.; Haaland, S. E.; Daly, P. W.; Delcourt, D. C.; Luo, H.; Kistler, L. M.; Dandouras, I.

    2015-05-01

    The spatial distributions of different ion species are useful indicators for plasma sheet dynamics. In this statistical study based on 7 years of Cluster observations, we establish the spatial distributions of oxygen ions and protons at energies from 274 to 955 keV, depending on geomagnetic and solar wind (SW) conditions. Compared with protons, the distribution of energetic oxygen has stronger dawn-dusk asymmetry in response to changes in the geomagnetic activity. When the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is directed southward, the oxygen ions show significant acceleration in the tail plasma sheet. Changes in the SW dynamic pressure (Pdyn) affect the oxygen and proton intensities in the same way. The energetic protons show significant intensity increases at the near-Earth duskside during disturbed geomagnetic conditions, enhanced SW Pdyn, and southward IMF, implying there location of effective inductive acceleration mechanisms and a strong duskward drift due to the increase of the magnetic field gradient in the near-Earth tail. Higher losses of energetic ions are observed in the dayside plasma sheet under disturbed geomagnetic conditions and enhanced SW Pdyn. These observations are in agreement with theoretical models.

  1. Plasma and magnetic field variations in the distant magnetotail associated with near-earth substorm effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, D. N.; Bame, S. J.; Mccomas, D. J.; Zwickl, R. D.; Slavin, J. A.; Smith, E. J.

    1987-01-01

    Examination of many individual event periods in the ISEE 3 deep-tail data set has suggested that magnetospheric substorms produce a characteristic pattern of effects in the distant magnetotail. During the growth, or tail-energy-storage phase of substorms, the magnetotail appears to grow diametrically in size, often by many earth radii. Subsequently, after the substorm expansive phase onset at earth, the distant tail undergoes a sequence of plasma, field, and energetic-particle variations as large-scale plasmoids move rapidly down the tail following their disconnection from the near-earth plasma sheet. ISEE 3 data are appropriate for the study of these effects since the spacecraft remained fixed within the nominal tail location for long periods. Using newly available auroral electrojet indices (AE and AL) and Geo particle data to time substorm onsets at earth, superposed epoch analyses of ISEE 3 and near-earth data prior to, and following, substorm expansive phase onsets have been performed. These analyses quantify and extend substantially the understanding of the deep-tail pattern of response to global substorm-induced dynamical effects.

  2. Low-Frequency Waves in the Near-Earth Magnetotail before Substorm Expansion Onsets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Y.; Saito, M. H.; Hiraki, Y.; Machida, S.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection and dipolarization, which occur in the near-Earth magnetotail just before substorm expansion onsets, are important processes for the substorm triggering. To understand the triggering of these processes, we have investigated low-frequency waves that were observed in the near-Earth magnetotail before onsets, by performing statistical analysis based on Geotail observations and case studies based on multi-point THEMIS and Geotail observations. Here we focused our examination on ~10 min interval before onsets. We find that small-amplitude Alfven and slow-mode magnetosonic waves with a period of ~1 to 2 min continuously exist for more than 10 min before onsets. Such waves are seen not only in the initial dipolarization region but also midway between the magnetic reconnection and initial dipolarization regions. It seems that the amplitudes of the waves are larger in the off-equator plasma sheet and the plasma sheet boundary layer than at the magnetic equator and in the lobe. After onsets the waves considerably amplify in the plasma sheet. These results may imply that instabilities already begin to grow gradually in a wide region during the substorm growth phase, while their explosive growth begins in localized regions just before onsets.

  3. THE MISSION ACCESSIBLE NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS SURVEY (MANOS): FIRST PHOTOMETRIC RESULTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thirouin, A.; Moskovitz, N.; Burt, B.; Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, F. E.; Person, M. J.; Christensen, E.; Polishook, D.; Thomas, C. A.; Trilling, D.; Hinkle, M.; Avner, D.; Willman, M.; Aceituno, F. J.

    2016-01-01

    The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey aims to physically characterize sub-km near-Earth objects (NEOs). We report the first photometric results from the survey that began in 2013 August. Photometric observations were performed using 1–4 m class telescopes around the world. We present rotational periods and light curve amplitudes for 86 sub-km NEOs, though in some cases only lower limits are provided. Our main goal is to obtain light curves for small NEOs (typically, sub-km objects) and estimate their rotational periods, light curve amplitudes, and shapes. These properties are used for a statistical study to constrain overall properties of the NEO population. A weak correlation seems to indicate that smaller objects are more spherical than larger ones. We also report seven NEOs that are fully characterized (light curve and visible spectra) as the most suitable candidates for a future human or robotic mission. Viable mission targets are objects fully characterized, with Δ v NHATS  ≤ 12 km s −1 , and a rotational period P  > 1 hr. Assuming a similar rate of object characterization as reported in this paper, approximately 1230 NEOs need to be characterized in order to find 100 viable mission targets.

  4. Migration of Small Bodies and Dust to Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.

    Computer simulations of the orbital evolution of Jupiter-family comets (JFCs), resonant asteroids, and asteroidal, kuiperoidal, and cometary dust particles were made. The gravitational influence of planets (exclusive of Pluto and sometimes of Mercury) was taken into account. For dust particles we also considered radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson drag, and solar wind drag. A few JFCs got Earth-crossing orbits with semi-major axes adisintegrated into mini-comets and dust during a smaller part of their dynamical lifetimes if these lifetimes are not small. The obtained results show that during the accumulation of the giant planets the total mass of icy bodies delivered to the Earth could be about the mass of water in Earth's oceans. In our runs for dust particles, the values of the ratio β between the radiation pressure force and the gravitational force varied from 0.0004 to 0.4 (for silicates, such values correspond to particle diameters between 1000 and 1 microns). For β >0.01 the collision probabilities of dust particles with the terrestrial planets during lifetimes of particles were considerably greater for larger asteroidal and cometary particles. At β ≥ 0.1 and β ≤ 0.001 some asteroidal particles migrated beyond Jupiter's orbit. The peaks in the distribution of migrating asteroidal dust particles with semi-major axis corresponding to the n:(n+1) resonances with Earth and Venus and the gaps associated with the 1:1 resonances with these planets are more pronounced for larger particles. Several our papers on this problem were put in http://arXiv.org/format/astro-ph/ (e.g., 0305519, 0308448, 0308450). This work was supported by INTAS (00-240) and NASA (NAG5-10776).

  5. Observing the variation of asteroid thermal inertia with heliocentric distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozitis, B.; Green, S. F.; MacLennan, E.; Emery, J. P.

    2018-06-01

    Thermal inertia is a useful property to characterize a planetary surface, since it can be used as a qualitative measure of the regolith grain size. It is expected to vary with heliocentric distance because of its dependence on temperature. However, no previous investigation has conclusively observed a change in thermal inertia for any given planetary body. We have addressed this by using NEOWISE data and the Advanced Thermophysical Model to study the thermophysical properties of the near-Earth asteroids (1036) Ganymed, (1580) Betulia, and (276 049) 2002 CE26 as they moved around their highly eccentric orbits. We confirm that the thermal inertia values of Ganymed and 2002 CE26 do vary with heliocentric distance, although the degree of variation observed depends on the spectral emissivity assumed in the thermophysical modelling. We also confirm that the thermal inertia of Betulia did not change for three different observations obtained at the same heliocentric distance. Depending on the spectral emissivity, the variations for Ganymed and 2002 CE26 are potentially more extreme than that implied by theoretical models of heat transfer within asteroidal regoliths, which might be explained by asteroids having thermal properties that also vary with depth. Accounting for this variation reduces a previously observed trend of decreasing asteroid thermal inertia with increasing size, and suggests that the surfaces of small and large asteroids could be much more similar than previously thought. Furthermore, this variation can affect Yarkovsky orbital drift predictions by a few tens of per cent.

  6. Evolution of NASA's Near-Earth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaherty, Roger; Stocklin, Frank; Weinberg, Aaron

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) is now in its 23rd year of operations and its spacecraft fleet includes three second-generation spacecraft launched since the year 2000; a figure illustrates the first generation TDRSS spacecraft. During this time frame the TDRSS has provided communications relay support to a broad range of missions, with emphasis on low-earth-orbiting (LEO) spacecraft that include unmanned science spacecraft (e.g., Hubble Space Telescope), and human spaceflight (Space Shuttle and Space Station). Furthermore, the TDRSS has consistently demonstrated its uniqueness and adaptability in several ways. First, its S- and K-band services, combined with its multi-band/steerable single-access (SA) antennas and ground-based configuration flexibility, have permitted the mission set to expand to unique users such as scientific balloons and launch vehicles. Second, the bent-pipe nature of the system has enabled the introduction of new/improved services via technology insertion and upgrades at each of the ground terminals; a specific example here is the Demand Access Service (DAS), which, for example, is currently providing science-alert support to NASA science missions Third, the bent-pipe nature of the system, combined with the flexible ground-terminal signal processing architecture has permitted the demonstration/vaIidation of new techniques/services/technologies via a real satellite channel; over the past 10+ years these have, for example, included demonstrations/evaluations of emerging modulation/coding techniques. Given NASA's emerging Exploration plans, with missions beginning later this decade and expanding for decades to come, NASA is currently planning the development of a seamless, NASA-wide architecture that must accommodate missions from near-earth to deep space. Near-earth elements include Ground-Network (GN) and Near-Earth Relay (NER) components and both must efficiently and seamlessly support missions that encompass: earth

  7. Lightcurve Analysis of L5 Trojan Asteroids at the Center for Solar System Studies 2017 September to December

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Robert D.; Warner, Brian D.

    2018-04-01

    Lightcurves for four Jovian Trojan asteroids were obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies (CS3) from 2017 September to December. From observations in 2016 June, 2759 Idomeneus was found to be another candidate for the special case of very wide binaries. This would be the fifth confirmed Jovian Trojan binary asteroid.

  8. The AKARI IRC asteroid flux catalogue: updated diameters and albedos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alí-Lagoa, V.; Müller, T. G.; Usui, F.; Hasegawa, S.

    2018-05-01

    The AKARI IRC all-sky survey provided more than twenty thousand thermal infrared observations of over five thousand asteroids. Diameters and albedos were obtained by fitting an empirically calibrated version of the standard thermal model to these data. After the publication of the flux catalogue in October 2016, our aim here is to present the AKARI IRC all-sky survey data and discuss valuable scientific applications in the field of small body physical properties studies. As an example, we update the catalogue of asteroid diameters and albedos based on AKARI using the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM). We fit the NEATM to derive asteroid diameters and, whenever possible, infrared beaming parameters. We fit groups of observations taken for the same object at different epochs of the survey separately, so we compute more than one diameter for approximately half of the catalogue. We obtained a total of 8097 diameters and albedos for 5170 asteroids, and we fitted the beaming parameter for almost two thousand of them. When it was not possible to fit the beaming parameter, we used a straight line fit to our sample's beaming parameter-versus-phase angle plot to set the default value for each fit individually instead of using a single average value. Our diameters agree with stellar-occultation-based diameters well within the accuracy expected for the model. They also match the previous AKARI-based catalogue at phase angles lower than 50°, but we find a systematic deviation at higher phase angles, at which near-Earth and Mars-crossing asteroids were observed. The AKARI IRC All-sky survey is an essential source of information about asteroids, especially the large ones, since, it provides observations at different observation geometries, rotational coverages and aspect angles. For example, by comparing in more detail a few asteroids for which dimensions were derived from occultations, we discuss how the multiple observations per object may already provide three

  9. MASCOT—The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout Onboard the Hayabusa2 Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Tra-Mi; Baturkin, Volodymyr; Grimm, Christian; Grundmann, Jan Thimo; Hobbie, Catherin; Ksenik, Eugen; Lange, Caroline; Sasaki, Kaname; Schlotterer, Markus; Talapina, Maria; Termtanasombat, Nawarat; Wejmo, Elisabet; Witte, Lars; Wrasmann, Michael; Wübbels, Guido; Rößler, Johannes; Ziach, Christian; Findlay, Ross; Biele, Jens; Krause, Christian; Ulamec, Stephan; Lange, Michael; Mierheim, Olaf; Lichtenheldt, Roy; Maier, Maximilian; Reill, Josef; Sedlmayr, Hans-Jürgen; Bousquet, Pierre; Bellion, Anthony; Bompis, Olivier; Cenac-Morthe, Celine; Deleuze, Muriel; Fredon, Stephane; Jurado, Eric; Canalias, Elisabet; Jaumann, Ralf; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Glassmeier, Karl Heinz; Hercik, David; Grott, Matthias; Celotti, Luca; Cordero, Federico; Hendrikse, Jeffrey; Okada, Tatsuaki

    2017-07-01

    On December 3rd, 2014, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) launched successfully the Hayabusa2 (HY2) spacecraft to its journey to Near Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu. Aboard this spacecraft is a compact landing package, MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid surface SCOuT), which was developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in collaboration with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Similar to the famous predecessor mission Hayabusa, Hayabusa2, will also study an asteroid and return samples to Earth. This time, however, the target is a C-type asteroid which is considered to be more primitive than (25143) Itokawa and provide insight into an even earlier stage of our Solar System.

  10. Visible/Near-Infrared Spectral Properties of MUSES C Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, K. S.; Vilas, F.; Kelley, M. S.; Abell, P. A.

    2004-01-01

    The Japanese MUSES C mission launched the Hayabusa spacecraft last May 15, 2003, to encounter and study the near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The spacecraft will obtain visible images through broadband filters similar to the ECAS filters, and near-infrared spectra from 0.85 - 2.1 microns. In preparation for this encounter, opportunities to study the asteroid with Earth-based telescopes have been fully leveraged. Visible and near-infrared spectral observations were made of asteroid 25143 Itokawa during several nights of March, 2001, around the last apparition. We report here on the results of extensive spectral observations made to address the questions of compositional variations across the surface of the asteroid (as determined by the rotational period and shape model); variations in phase angle (Sun-Itokawa-Earth angle) on spectral characteristics; and predictions of Itokawa observations by Hayabusa based on the spectral resolution and responsivity of the NIRS and AMICA instruments.

  11. Rotational Characterization of Hayabusa II Target Asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3

    OpenAIRE

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Abe, Shinsuke; Pan, Kang-Shian; Osip, David; Pefkou, Dimitra; Melita, Mario; Elias, Mauro; Kitazato, Kohei; Bus, Schelte; DeMeo, Francesca; Binzel, Richard; Abell, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa II mission is scheduled to rendezvous with and return a sample from the near-Earth asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3. Previous visible-wavelength spectra of this object show significant variability across multiple epochs which could be the result of a compositionally heterogeneous surface. We present new visible and near-infrared spectra to demonstrate that thermally altered carbonaceous chondrites are plausible compositional analogs, however this is a tentative ...

  12. Teaching students about informatics and astronomy using real data for detection of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldea, A. L.; Vaduvescu, O.

    2017-09-01

    In this paper we approach the astronomy teaching process for students in computer sciences through a controlled investigation method using real astronomical data, including data reduction and quality control of the astrometry of near-Earth asteroids. The method used data collected on the Isaac Newton Telescope located at the ORM observatory on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands and was successfully tested with a group of students in their second year of study.

  13. Near-Earth Magnetic Field Effects of Large-Scale Magnetospheric Currents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lühr, Hermann; Xiong, Chao; Olsen, Nils

    2017-01-01

    . Significant progress in interpreting the magnetic fields from the different sources has been achieved thanks to magnetic satellite missions like Ørsted, CHAMP and now Swarm. Of particular interest for this article is a proper representation of the magnetospheric ring current effect. Uncertainties in modelling...... its effect still produce the largest residuals between observations and present-day geomagnetic field models. A lot of progress has been achieved so far, but there are still open issues like the characteristics of the partial ring current. Other currents discussed are those flowing......Magnetospheric currents play an important role in the electrodynamics of near-Earth space. This has been the topic of many space science studies. Here we focus on the magnetic fields they cause close to Earth. Their contribution to the geomagnetic field is the second largest after the core field...

  14. Exploration Opportunity Search of Near-earth Objects Based on Analytical Gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yuan; Cui, Ping-Yuan; Luan, En-Jie

    2008-07-01

    The problem of search of opportunity for the exploration of near-earth minor objects is investigated. For rendezvous missions, the analytical gradients of the performance index with respect to the free parameters are derived using the variational calculus and the theory of state-transition matrix. After generating randomly some initial guesses in the search space, the performance index is optimized, guided by the analytical gradients, leading to the local minimum points representing the potential launch opportunities. This method not only keeps the global-search property of the traditional method, but also avoids the blindness in the latter, thereby increasing greatly the computing speed. Furthermore, with this method, the searching precision could be controlled effectively.

  15. Is the Near-Earth Current Sheet Prior to Reconnection Unstable to Tearing Mode?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xin-Hua, Wei; Jin-Bin, Cao; Guo-Cheng, Zhou; Hui-Shan, Fu

    2010-01-01

    The tearing mode instability plays a key role in the triggering process of reconnection. The triggering collisionless tearing mode instability has been theoretically and numerically analyzed by many researchers. However, due to the difficulty in obtaining the observational wave number, it is still unknown whether the tearing mode instability can be excited in an actual plasma sheet prior to reconnection onset. Using the data from four Cluster satellites prior to a magnetospheric reconnection event on 13 September 2002, we utilized the wave telescope technique to obtain the wave number which corresponds to the peak of power spectral density. The wavelength is about 18R E and is consistent with previous theoretic and numerical results. After substituting the wave vector and other necessary parameters of the observed current sheet into the triggering condition of tearing mode instability, we find that the near-Earth current sheet prior to reconnection is unstable to tearing mode. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  16. NASA's Evolution to K(sub a)- Band Space Communications for Near-Earth Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Kevin P.; Stocklin, Frank J.; Geldzahler, Barry J.; Friedman, Daniel E.; Celeste, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Over the next several years, NASA plans to launch multiple earth-science missions which will send data from low-Earth orbits to ground stations at 1-3 Gbps, to achieve data throughputs of 5-40 terabits per day. These transmission rates exceed the capabilities of S-band and X-band frequency allocations used for science probe downlinks in the past. Accordingly, NASA is exploring enhancements to its space communication capabilities to provide the Agency's first Ka-band architecture solution for next generation missions in the near-earth regime. This paper describes the proposed Ka-band solution's drivers and concept, constraints and analyses which shaped that concept, and expansibility for future needs

  17. Preserving the Near-Earth Space Environment with Green Engineering and Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Nicholas L.

    2009-01-01

    Green engineering and operations are essential to preserving the near-Earth space environment for future generations. The U.S. and the international aerospace community have been proactive in addressing the threat of the increasing orbital debris population and the risks to people and property from reentering debris. NASA has led this activity first by devoting resources to thoroughly understand the technical issues and then by developing effective and acceptable policies and guidelines. NASA also worked closely with the international community to ensure that the US aerospace industry was not placed at an economic disadvantage. In the long term, the removal of large orbital debris will be essential to the sustainability of space operations.

  18. In-situ detection of micron-sized dust particles in near-Earth space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruen, E.; Zook, H. A.

    1985-01-01

    In situ detectors for micron sized dust particles based on the measurement of impact ionization have been flown on several space missions (Pioneer 8/9, HEOS-2 and Helios 1/2). Previous measurements of small dust particles in near-Earth space are reviewed. An instrument is proposed for the measurement of micron sized meteoroids and space debris such as solid rocket exhaust particles from on board an Earth orbiting satellite. The instrument will measure the mass, speed, flight direction and electrical charge of individually impacting debris and meteoritic particles. It is a multicoincidence detector of 1000 sq cm sensitive area and measures particle masses in the range from 10 to the -14th power g to 10 to the -8th power g at an impact speed of 10 km/s. The instrument is lightweight (5 kg), consumes little power (4 watts), and requires a data sampling rate of about 100 bits per second.

  19. High-energy charged particle bursts in the near-Earth space as earthquake precursors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Yu. Aleksandrin

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available The experimental data on high-energy charged particle fluxes, obtained in various near-Earth space experiments (MIR orbital station, METEOR-3, GAMMA and SAMPEX satellites were processed and analyzed with the goal to search for particle bursts. Particle bursts have been selected in every experiment considered. It was shown that the significant part of high-energy charged particle bursts correlates with seismic activity. Moreover, the particle bursts are observed several hours before strong earthquakes; L-shells of particle bursts and corresponding earthquakes are practically the same. Some features of a seismo-magnetosphere connection model, based on the interaction of electromagnetic emission of seismic origin and radiation belt particles, were considered. Key words. Ionospheric physics (energetic particles, trapped; energetic particles, precipitating; magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions

  20. A statistical study of magnetic field magnitude changes during substorms in the near earth tail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, R. E.; Lui, A. T. Y.; Mcentire, R. W.; Potemra, T. A.; Krimigis, S. M.

    1990-01-01

    Using AMPTE/CCE data taken in 1985 and 1986 when the CCE apogee (8.8 earth radii) was within 4.5 hours of midnight, 167 injection events in the near-earth magnetotail have been cataloged. These events are exactly or nearly dispersionless on a 72-sec time scale from 25 keV to 285 keV. The changes in the field magnitude are found to be consistent with the expected effects of the diversion/disruption of the cross-tail current during a substorm, and the latitudinal position of the current sheet is highly variable within the orbit of CCE. The local time variation of the magnetic-field changes implies that the substorm current wedge is composed of longitudinally broad Birkeland currents.

  1. Early results from Magsat. [studies of near-earth magnetic fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langel, R. A.; Estes, R. H.; Mayhew, M. A.

    1981-01-01

    Papers presented at the May 27, 1981 meeting of the American Geophysical Union concerning early results from the Magsat satellite program, which was designed to study the near-earth magnetic fields originating in the core and lithosphere, are discussed. The satellite was launched on October 30, 1979 into a sun-synchronous (twilight) orbit, and re-entered the atmosphere on June 11, 1980. Instruments carried included a cesium vapor magnetometer to measure field magnitudes, a fluxgate magnetometer to measure field components and an optical system to measure fluxgate magnetometer orientation. Early results concerned spherical harmonic models, fields due to ionospheric and magnetospheric currents, the identification and interpretation of fields from lithospheric sources. The preliminary results confirm the possibility of separating the measured field into core, crustal and external components, and represent significant developments in analytical techniques in main-field modelling and the physics of the field sources.

  2. Trojan Asteroid Lightcurves: Probing Internal Structure and the Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E. L.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of the small bodies of the solar system reveal important clues about the condensation and formation of planetesimal bodies, and ultimately planets in planetary systems. Dynamics of small bodies have been utilized to model giant planet migration within our solar system, colors have been used to explore compositional gradients within the protoplanetary disk, & studies of the size-frequency distribution of main belt asteroids may reveal compositional dependences on planetesimal strength limiting models of planetary growth from collisional aggregration. Studies of the optical lightcurves of asteroids also yield important information on shape and potential binarity of asteroidal bodies. The K2 mission has allowed for the unprecedented collection of Trojan asteroid lightcurves on a 30 minute cadence for baselines of 10 days, in both the L4 and L5 Trojan clouds. Preliminary results from the K2 mission suggest that Trojan asteroids have bulk densities of 1 g/cc and a binary fraction ≤ 33 percent (Ryan et al., 2017, Astronomical Journal, 153, 116), however Trojan lightcurve data is actively being collected via the continued K2 mission. We will present updated results of bulk density and binary fraction of the Trojan asteroids and compare these results to other small body populations, including Hilda asteroids, transNeptunian objects and comet nuclei to test dynamical models of the origins of these populations.

  3. A photometric search for activity among asteroids and Centaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa Oyarzabal, A.; Mammana, L.; Fernández, J. A.

    2014-07-01

    We present the first results of a long-term observational campaign focused on the detection of activity in selected asteroids and centaurs. Our observational targets are near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (cf. [2]), the so called ''main-belt comets'' or ''active asteroids'' (well-known objects as well as potential candidates), and bright centaurs with good orbits, all close to their perihelion passages. In those objects with a former detection of activity, our aim is to contribute to a better physical knowledge of them, and determine, for instance, if the observed activity is transient or permanent. To achieve our goals, we analyzed CCD-filtered images of each observable target acquired with the 2.15-m telescope ''Jorge Sahade'' at CASLEO (San Juan, Argentina), during two runs of three consecutive nights each (during August 2013 and January 2014, respectively). Our study will be completed by future runs with the same instrumentation already assigned to our campaign. As preliminary results, we observed activity in the main-belt comets P/2013 P5 (PANSTARRS) and 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro. We also observed the main-belt comet (596) Scheila, which showed an unequivocally stellar appearance. We observed the main-belt comet candidate (3646) Aduatiques (cf. [1]), and noticed in this object a curious feature whose connection to some kind of activity is not well determined yet. We also observed the near-Earth asteroid in cometary orbit 2006 XL_5 (cf. [3]), and the centaurs (281371) 2008 FC_{76}, (332685) 2009 HH_{36}), (382004) 2010 RM_{64}, 2010 XZ_{78}, and 2011 UR_{402}. We have not detected activity in these objects, but an improved analysis is still in progress. %Corresponding author: Andrea Sosa (asosa@fisica.edu.uy)

  4. Perspectives on the Near-Earth Object Impact Hazard After Chelyabinsk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C. R.

    2013-12-01

    Until this year, the NEO impact hazard had been regarded as a theoretical example of a very low probability high consequence natural disaster. There had been no confirmed examples of fatalities directly due to asteroid or meteoroid strikes. (There still aren't.) The several megaton Tunguska event in 1908 was in a remote, unpopulated place. So human beings have been witnessing only the tiniest analogs of asteroid strikes, the night-sky meteors and occasional bolides, which - on rare occasions - yield meteoritic fragments that puncture holes in roofs. Though the NEO impact hazard has occasionally been treated in the natural hazards literature, interest primarily remained in the planetary science and aerospace communities. The Chelyabinsk asteroid impact on 15 February 2013 was a real disaster, occurring near a city with a population exceeding a million. Well over a thousand people were injured, thousands of buildings suffered at least superficial damage (mainly to windows), schools and sports facilities were closed, and emergency responders swarmed across the city and surrounding rural areas. While the consequences were very small compared with larger natural disasters, which kill tens of thousands of people annually worldwide, this specific case - for the first time - has permitted a calibration of the consequences of the rare impacts asteroid astronomers have been predicting. There now are reasons to expect that impacts by bodies tens of meters in diameter are several times more frequent than had been thought and each impact is more damaging than previously estimated. The Chelyabinsk event, produced by a 20 meter diameter asteroid, specifically suggests that asteroids just 15 meters diameter, or even smaller, could be very dangerous and damaging; indeed, a more common steeper impact angle would have produced more consequential damage on the ground. This contrasts with estimates a decade earlier [NASA NEO Science Definition Team report, 2003] that asteroids smaller

  5. Formation of asteroid pairs by rotational fission

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Vokrouhlický, D.; Polishook, D.; Scheeres, D.J.; Harris, A. W.; Galád, Adrián; Vaduvescu, O.; Pozo, F.; Barr, A.; Longa, P.; Vachier, F.; Colas, F.; Pray, D. P.; Pollock, J.; Reichart, D. E.; Ivarsen, K.M.; Haislip, J.B.; LaCluyze, A.; Kušnirák, Peter; Henych, Tomáš; Marchis, F.; Macomber, B.; Jacobson, S.A.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Sergeev, A.V.; Leroy, A.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 466, č. 7310 (2010), s. 1085-1088 ISSN 0028-0836 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107; GA ČR GD205/08/H005 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : full 2-body problem * binary asteroids * stability Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 36.101, year: 2010

  6. Energetic particle beams in the plasma sheet boundary layer following substorm expansion - Simultaneous near-earth and distant tail observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholer, M.; Baker, D. N.; Gloeckler, G.; Ipavich, F. M.; Galvin, A. B.; Klecker, B.; Terasawa, T.; Tsurutani, B. T.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous observations of ions and electron beams in the near-earth and deep magnetotail following the onset of substorm are analyzed in terms of the substorm neutral line model. The observations were collected on March 20, 1983 with ISSE 1 and 3. Energy fluxes and intensity-time profiles of protons and electrons are studied. The data reveal that the reconnection at the near-earth neutral line produces ions and electrons for the plasma sheet boundary layer. The maximum electric potential along the neutral line is evaluated.

  7. Design Concepts for a Small Space-Based GEO Relay Satellite for Missions Between Low Earth and near Earth Orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul B.; Warner, Joseph D.; Oleson, Steven; Schier, James

    2014-01-01

    the number of links looking above and below GEO; the detailed design of a GEO SSBS spacecraft bus and its accommodation of the communication payload, and a summary of the trade study that resulted in the selection of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to deploy the SSBS and its impact on cost reductions per satellite. ======================================================================== Several initiatives have taken place within NASA1 and international space agencies2 to create a human exploration strategy for expanding human presence into the solar system; these initiatives have been driven by multiple factors to benefit Earth. Of the many elements in the strategy one stands out: to send robotic and human missions to destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), including cis-lunar space, Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), the Moon, and Mars and its moons.3, 4 The time frame for human exploration to various destinations, based on the public information available,1,4 is shown in Figure 1. Advance planning is needed to define how future space communications services will be provided in the new budget environment to meet future space communications needs. The spacecraft for these missions can be dispersed anywhere from below LEO to beyond GEO, and to various destinations within the solar system. NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program office provides communication and tracking services to space missions during launch, in-orbit testing, and operation phases. Currently, SCaN's space networking relay satellites mainly provide services to users below GEO, at Near Earth Orbit (NEO), below LEO, and in deep space. The potential exists for using a space-based relay satellite, located in the vicinity of various solar system destinations, to provide communication space links to missions both below and above its orbit. Such relays can meet the needs of human exploration missions for maximum connectivity to Earth locations and for reduced latency. In the past, several studies

  8. The asteroid 2014 JO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodniza, Alberto; Pereira, Mario

    2017-10-01

    The asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered by A. D. Grauer at the Mt. Lemmon Survey on May 2014, and Joe Masiero used observations from the NEOWISE in 2014 to estimate a diameter of 650 meters [1]. However, using the radio telescope at Arecibo-Puerto Rico, astronomers obtained radar images on April 17-2017 and Edgar Rivera Valentín (scientist at Arecibo) said: “We found 2014 JO25 is a contact binary asteroid, two space rocks that were originally separate bodies, and each segment is about 640 meters and 670 meters, for a total of about 1.3 km long. Its rotation is of 3.5 hours” [2]. This asteroid flew past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 4.6 lunar distances from the Earth. This was the closest approach by an asteroid since 4179 Toutatis. Toutatis flew past Earth on September 2004 at a distance of about 4 lunar distances from the Earth [3]. In April 12-2020 the asteroid will be at a minimum possible distance of 0.1617280 A.U from Earth [4]. From our observatory, located in Pasto-Colombia, we obtained a lot of pictures. Our data was published by the Minor Planet Center [5] and also appears at the web page of NEODyS [6]. Astrometry and photometry were carried out, and we calculated the orbital elements. We obtained the following orbital parameters: eccentricity=0.88454+/-0.00152, semi-major axis= 2.0573+/- 0.0216 A.U, orbital inclination=25.22+/-0.10 deg, longitude of the ascending node =30.6530+/-0.0032 deg, argument of perihelion=49.586+/-0.012 deg, mean motion = 0.33402+/-0.00527 deg/d, perihelion distance=0.237524+/-0.000644 A.U, aphelion distance=3.8770+/-0.0449 A.U, absolute magnitude =18.1. The parameters were calculated based on 164 observations. Dates: 2017 April: 22 to 24 with mean residual=0.22 arcseconds.The asteroid has an orbital period of 2.95 years.[1] https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2014JO25/2014JO25_planning.html[2] http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/large-asteroid-2014-jo25-close-april-19-2017-how-to-see[3] https

  9. OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevres Fernandez, Lee Roger; Bos, Brent

    2018-01-01

    NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission constitutes the “first-of-its-kind” project to thoroughly characterize a near-Earth asteroid. The selected asteroid is (101955) 1999 RQ36 (a.k.a. Bennu). The mission launched in September 2016, and the spacecraft will reach its asteroid target in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. The spacecraft that will travel to, and collect a sample from, Bennu has five integrated instruments from national and international partners. NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission spacecraft includes the Touch-And-Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) three camera-head instrument. The purpose of TAGCAMS is to provide imagery during the mission to facilitate navigation to the target asteroid, confirm acquisition of the asteroid sample and document asteroid sample stowage. Two of the TAGCAMS cameras, NavCam 1 and NavCam 2, serve as fully redundant navigation cameras to support optical navigation and natural feature tracking. The third TAGCAMS camera, StowCam, provides imagery to assist with and confirm proper stowage of the asteroid sample. Analysis of spacecraft imagery acquired by the TAGCAMS during cruise to the target asteroid Bennu was performed using custom codes developed in MATLAB. Assessment of the TAGCAMS in-flight performance using flight imagery was done to characterize camera performance. One specific area of investigation that was targeted was bad pixel mapping. A recent phase of the mission, known as the Earth Gravity Assist (EGA) maneuver, provided images that were used for the detection and confirmation of “questionable” pixels, possibly under responsive, using image segmentation analysis. Ongoing work on point spread function morphology and camera linearity and responsivity will also be used for calibration purposes and further analysis in preparation for proximity operations around Bennu. Said analyses will provide a broader understanding

  10. Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission: Robotic Boulder Capture Option Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Belbin, Scott P.; Reeves, David M.; Earle, Kevin D.; Naasz, Bo J.; Abell, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently studying an option for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) that would capture a multi-ton boulder (typically 2-4 meters in size) from the surface of a large (is approximately 100+ meter) Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and return it to cislunar space for subsequent human and robotic exploration. This alternative mission approach, designated the Robotic Boulder Capture Option (Option B), has been investigated to determine the mission feasibility and identify potential differences from the initial ARRM concept of capturing an entire small NEA (4-10 meters in size), which has been designated the Small Asteroid Capture Option (Option A). Compared to the initial ARRM concept, Option B allows for centimeter-level characterization over an entire large NEA, the certainty of target NEA composition type, the ability to select the boulder that is captured, numerous opportunities for mission enhancements to support science objectives, additional experience operating at a low-gravity planetary body including extended surface contact, and the ability to demonstrate future planetary defense strategies on a hazardous-size NEA. Option B can leverage precursor missions and existing Agency capabilities to help ensure mission success by targeting wellcharacterized asteroids and can accommodate uncertain programmatic schedules by tailoring the return mass.

  11. Bi-directional electrons in the near-Earth plasma sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Shiokawa

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available We have studied the occurrence characteristics of bi-directional electron pitch angle anisotropy (enhanced flux in field-aligned directions, F^ /F|| > 1.5 at energies of 0.1–30 keV using plasma and magnetic field data from the AMPTE/IRM satellite in the near-Earth plasma sheet. The occurrence rate increases in the tailward direction from XGSM = - 9 RE to - 19 RE . The occurrence rate is also enhanced in the midnight sector, and furthermore, whenever the elevation angle of the magnetic field is large while the magnetic field intensity is small, B ~ 15 nT. From these facts, we conclude that the bi-directional electrons in the central plasma sheet are produced mainly in the vicinity of the neutral sheet and that the contribution from ionospheric electrons is minor. A high occurrence is also found after earthward high-speed ion flows, suggesting Fermi-type field-aligned electron acceleration in the neutral sheet. Occurrence characteristics of bi-directional electrons in the plasma sheet boundary layer are also discussed.Key words. Magnetospheric physics (magnetospheric configuration and dynamics; magnetotail; plasma sheet

  12. Near-earth Thin Current Sheets and Birkeland Currents during Substorm Growth Phase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sorin Zaharia; Cheng, C.Z.

    2003-01-01

    Two important phenomena observed during the magnetospheric substorm growth phase are modeled: the formation of a near-Earth (|X| ∼ 9 R E ) thin cross-tail current sheet, as well as the equatorward shift of the ionospheric Birkeland currents. Our study is performed by solving the 3-D force-balance equation with realistic boundary conditions and pressure distributions. The results show a cross-tail current sheet with large current (J φ ∼ 10 nA/m 2 ) and very high plasma β (β ∼ 40) between 7 and 10 R E . The obtained region-1 and region-2 Birkeland currents, formed on closed field lines due to pressure gradients, move equatorward and become more intense (J parallel max ∼ 3 (micro)A/m 2 ) compared to quiet times. Both results are in agreement with substorm growth phase observations. Our results also predict that the cross-tail current sheet maps into the ionosphere in the transition region between the region-1 and region-2 currents

  13. Low frequency wave sources in the outer magnetosphere, magnetosheath, and near Earth solar wind

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. D. Constantinescu

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of the solar wind with the Earth magnetosphere generates a broad variety of plasma waves through different mechanisms. The four Cluster spacecraft allow one to determine the regions where these waves are generated and their propagation directions. One of the tools which takes full advantage of the multi-point capabilities of the Cluster mission is the wave telescope technique which provides the wave vector using a plane wave representation. In order to determine the distance to the wave sources, the source locator – a generalization of the wave telescope to spherical waves – has been recently developed. We are applying the source locator to magnetic field data from a typical traversal of Cluster from the cusp region and the outer magnetosphere into the magnetosheath and the near Earth solar wind. We find a high concentration of low frequency wave sources in the electron foreshock and in the cusp region. To a lower extent, low frequency wave sources are also found in other magnetospheric regions.

  14. Near-Earth Magnetic Field Effects of Large-Scale Magnetospheric Currents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luehr, Hermann; Xiong, Chao; Olsen, Nils; Le, Guan

    2016-01-01

    Magnetospheric currents play an important role in the electrodynamics of near- Earth space. This has been the topic of many space science studies. Here we focus on the magnetic fields they cause close to Earth. Their contribution to the geomagnetic field is the second largest after the core field. Significant progress in interpreting the magnetic fields from the different sources has been achieved thanks to magnetic satellite missions like Ørsted, CHAMP and now Swarm. Of particular interest for this article is a proper representation of the magnetospheric ring current effect. Uncertainties in modelling its effect still produce the largest residuals between observations and present-day geomagnetic field models. A lot of progress has been achieved so far, but there are still open issues like the characteristics of the partial ring current. Other currents discussed are those flowing in the magnetospheric tail. Also their magnetic contribution at LEO orbits is non-negligible. Treating them as an independent source is a more recent development, which has cured some of the problems in geomagnetic field modelling. Unfortunately there is no index available for characterizing the tail current intensity. Here we propose an approach that may help to properly quantify the magnetic contribution from the tail current for geomagnetic field modelling. Some open questions that require further investigation are mentioned at the end.

  15. Quasi-parallel whistler mode waves observed by THEMIS during near-earth dipolarizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Contel, O.; Roux, A.; Jacquey, C.; Robert, P.; Berthomier, M.; Chust, T.; Grison, B.; Angelopoulos, V.; Sibeck, D.; Chaston, C. C.; Cully, C. M.; Ergun, B.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Auster, U.; McFadden, J.; Carlson, C.; Larson, D.; Bonnell, J. W.; Mende, S.; Russell, C. T.; Donovan, E.; Mann, I.; Singer, H.

    2009-06-01

    We report on quasi-parallel whistler emissions detected by the near-earth satellites of the THEMIS mission before, during, and after local dipolarization. These emissions are associated with an electron temperature anisotropy α=T⊥e/T||e>1 consistent with the linear theory of whistler mode anisotropy instability. When the whistler mode emissions are observed the measured electron anisotropy varies inversely with β||e (the ratio of the electron parallel pressure to the magnetic pressure) as predicted by Gary and Wang (1996). Narrow band whistler emissions correspond to the small α existing before dipolarization whereas the broad band emissions correspond to large α observed during and after dipolarization. The energy in the whistler mode is leaving the current sheet and is propagating along the background magnetic field, towards the Earth. A simple time-independent description based on the Liouville's theorem indicates that the electron temperature anisotropy decreases with the distance along the magnetic field from the equator. Once this variation of α is taken into account, the linear theory predicts an equatorial origin for the whistler mode. The linear theory is also consistent with the observed bandwidth of wave emissions. Yet, the anisotropy required to be fully consistent with the observations is somewhat larger than the measured one. Although the discrepancy remains within the instrumental error bars, this could be due to time-dependent effects which have been neglected. The possible role of the whistler waves in the substorm process is discussed.

  16. Quasi-parallel whistler mode waves observed by THEMIS during near-earth dipolarizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Le Contel

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available We report on quasi-parallel whistler emissions detected by the near-earth satellites of the THEMIS mission before, during, and after local dipolarization. These emissions are associated with an electron temperature anisotropy α=T⊥e/T||e>1 consistent with the linear theory of whistler mode anisotropy instability. When the whistler mode emissions are observed the measured electron anisotropy varies inversely with β||e (the ratio of the electron parallel pressure to the magnetic pressure as predicted by Gary and Wang (1996. Narrow band whistler emissions correspond to the small α existing before dipolarization whereas the broad band emissions correspond to large α observed during and after dipolarization. The energy in the whistler mode is leaving the current sheet and is propagating along the background magnetic field, towards the Earth. A simple time-independent description based on the Liouville's theorem indicates that the electron temperature anisotropy decreases with the distance along the magnetic field from the equator. Once this variation of α is taken into account, the linear theory predicts an equatorial origin for the whistler mode. The linear theory is also consistent with the observed bandwidth of wave emissions. Yet, the anisotropy required to be fully consistent with the observations is somewhat larger than the measured one. Although the discrepancy remains within the instrumental error bars, this could be due to time-dependent effects which have been neglected. The possible role of the whistler waves in the substorm process is discussed.

  17. Statistical analysis of storm-time near-Earth current systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. W. Liemohn

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Currents from the Hot Electron and Ion Drift Integrator (HEIDI inner magnetospheric model results for all of the 90 intense storms (disturbance storm-time (Dst minimum < −100 nT from solar cycle 23 (1996–2005 are calculated, presented, and analyzed. We have categorized these currents into the various systems that exist in near-Earth space, specifically the eastward and westward symmetric ring current, the partial ring current, the banana current, and the tail current. The current results from each run set are combined by a normalized superposed epoch analysis technique that scales the timeline of each phase of each storm before summing the results. It is found that there is a systematic ordering to the current systems, with the asymmetric current systems peaking during storm main phase (tail current rising first, then the banana current, followed by the partial ring current and the symmetric current systems peaking during the early recovery phase (westward and eastward symmetric ring current having simultaneous maxima. The median and mean peak amplitudes for the current systems ranged from 1 to 3 MA, depending on the setup configuration used in HEIDI, except for the eastward symmetric ring current, for which the mean never exceeded 0.3 MA for any HEIDI setup. The self-consistent electric field description in HEIDI yielded larger tail and banana currents than the Volland–Stern electric field, while the partial and symmetric ring currents had similar peak values between the two applied electric field models.

  18. Migration of Trans-Neptunian Objects to a Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our estimates of the migration of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) to a near-Earth space are based on the results of investigations of orbital evolution of TNOs and Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs). The orbital evolution of TNOs was considered in many papers. Recently we investigated the evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of 2500 JCOs under the gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto (without dissipative factors). In the first series we considered N=2000 orbits near the orbits of 30 real Jupiter-family comets with period P(sub alpha)less than 10 yr, and in the second series we took N=500 orbits close to the orbit of Comet 10P Tempel 2 (alpha=3.1 AU, e=0.53, i=12 deg). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of objects with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all time intervals and all bodies, obtaining the total probability P(sub sigma) of collisions with a planet and the total time interval T(sub sigma) during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet.

  19. Deep-space and near-Earth optical communications by coded orbital angular momentum (OAM) modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2011-07-18

    In order to achieve multi-gigabit transmission (projected for 2020) for the use in interplanetary communications, the usage of large number of time slots in pulse-position modulation (PPM), typically used in deep-space applications, is needed, which imposes stringent requirements on system design and implementation. As an alternative satisfying high-bandwidth demands of future interplanetary communications, while keeping the system cost and power consumption reasonably low, in this paper, we describe the use of orbital angular momentum (OAM) as an additional degree of freedom. The OAM is associated with azimuthal phase of the complex electric field. Because OAM eigenstates are orthogonal the can be used as basis functions for N-dimensional signaling. The OAM modulation and multiplexing can, therefore, be used, in combination with other degrees of freedom, to solve the high-bandwidth requirements of future deep-space and near-Earth optical communications. The main challenge for OAM deep-space communication represents the link between a spacecraft probe and the Earth station because in the presence of atmospheric turbulence the orthogonality between OAM states is no longer preserved. We will show that in combination with LDPC codes, the OAM-based modulation schemes can operate even under strong atmospheric turbulence regime. In addition, the spectral efficiency of proposed scheme is N2/log2N times better than that of PPM.

  20. Determining characteristics of artificial near-Earth objects using observability analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Alex M.; Frueh, Carolin

    2018-03-01

    Observability analysis is a method for determining whether a chosen state of a system can be determined from the output or measurements. Knowledge of state information availability resulting from observability analysis leads to improved sensor tasking for observation of orbital debris and better control of active spacecraft. This research performs numerical observability analysis of artificial near-Earth objects. Analysis of linearization methods and state transition matrices is performed to determine the viability of applying linear observability methods to the nonlinear orbit problem. Furthermore, pre-whitening is implemented to reformulate classical observability analysis. In addition, the state in observability analysis is typically composed of position and velocity; however, including object characteristics beyond position and velocity can be crucial for precise orbit propagation. For example, solar radiation pressure has a significant impact on the orbit of high area-to-mass ratio objects in geosynchronous orbit. Therefore, determining the time required for solar radiation pressure parameters to become observable is important for understanding debris objects. In order to compare observability analysis results with and without measurement noise and an extended state, quantitative measures of observability are investigated and implemented.

  1. A Comprehensive Model of the Near-Earth Magnetic Field. Phase 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabaka, Terence J.; Olsen, Nils; Langel, Robert A.

    2000-01-01

    The near-Earth magnetic field is due to sources in Earth's core, ionosphere, magnetosphere, lithosphere, and from coupling currents between ionosphere and magnetosphere and between hemispheres. Traditionally, the main field (low degree internal field) and magnetospheric field have been modeled simultaneously, and fields from other sources modeled separately. Such a scheme, however, can introduce spurious features. A new model, designated CMP3 (Comprehensive Model: Phase 3), has been derived from quiet-time Magsat and POGO satellite measurements and observatory hourly and annual means measurements as part of an effort to coestimate fields from all of these sources. This model represents a significant advancement in the treatment of the aforementioned field sources over previous attempts, and includes an accounting for main field influences on the magnetosphere, main field and solar activity influences on the ionosphere, seasonal influences on the coupling currents, a priori characterization of ionospheric and magnetospheric influence on Earth-induced fields, and an explicit parameterization and estimation of the lithospheric field. The result of this effort is a model whose fits to the data are generally superior to previous models and whose parameter states for the various constituent sources are very reasonable.

  2. RECTIFIED ASTEROID ALBEDOS AND DIAMETERS FROM IRAS AND MSX PHOTOMETRY CATALOGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, Erin Lee; Woodward, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Rectified diameters and albedo estimates of 1517 main-belt asteroids selected from IRAS and the Mid-Course Space Experiment asteroid photometry catalogs are derived from updated infrared thermal models, the Standard Thermal Model and the Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM), and Monte Carlo simulations, using new Minor Planet Center compilations of absolute magnitudes (H values) constrained by occultation- and radar-derived parameters. The NEATM approach produces a more robust estimate of albedos and diameters, yielding albedos of p v (NEATM mean) =0.081 ± 0.064. The asteroid beaming parameter (η) for the selected asteroids has a mean value of 1.07 ± 0.27, and the smooth distribution of η suggests that this parameter is independent of asteroid properties such as composition. No trends in η due to size-dependent rotation rates are evident. Comparison of derived values of η as a function of taxonomic type indicates that the beaming parameter values for S- and C-type asteroids are identical within the standard deviation of the population of beaming parameters.

  3. Langmuir waves excitation by electron beam with the limited cross-section in the near-earth electron foreshock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anisimov, I.O.; Musatenko, K.S.; Krasnosselskikh, V.V.

    2005-01-01

    Model of the stripped monoenergetic electron beam with the sharp boundaries based on the results of CLUSTER measurements is proposed for the near-Earth foreshock vicinity. Dispersion equation is obtained and analyzed using numerical methods. Dependency of the equation roots corresponding to kinetic mechanism of beam-plasma instability on the model parameters is studied

  4. Asteroid retrieval missions enabled by invariant manifold dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Joan Pau; García Yárnoz, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Near Earth Asteroids are attractive targets for new space missions; firstly, because of their scientific importance, but also because of their impact threat and prospective resources. The asteroid retrieval mission concept has thus arisen as a synergistic approach to tackle these three facets of interest in one single mission. This paper reviews the methodology used by the authors (2013) in a previous search for objects that could be transported from accessible heliocentric orbits into the Earth's neighbourhood at affordable costs (or Easily Retrievable Objects, a.k.a. EROs). This methodology consisted of a heuristic pruning and an impulsive manoeuvre trajectory optimisation. Low thrust propulsion on the other hand clearly enables the transportation of much larger objects due to its higher specific impulse. Hence, in this paper, low thrust retrieval transfers are sought using impulsive trajectories as first guesses to solve the optimal control problem. GPOPS-II is used to transcribe the continuous-time optimal control problem to a nonlinear programming problem (NLP). The latter is solved by IPOPT, an open source software package for large-scale NLPs. Finally, a natural continuation procedure that increases the asteroid mass allows to find out the largest objects that could be retrieved from a given asteroid orbit. If this retrievable mass is larger than the actual mass of the asteroid, the asteroid retrieval mission for this particular object is said to be feasible. The paper concludes with an updated list of 17 EROs, as of April 2016, with their maximum retrievable masses by means of low thrust propulsion. This ranges from 2000 tons for the easiest object to be retrieved to 300 tons for the least accessible of them.

  5. Development of the Near-Earth Magnetotail and the Auroral Arc Associated with Substorm Onset: Evidence for a New Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Y.; Hiraki, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; Ieda, A.; Machida, S.

    2015-12-01

    We have studied the time sequence of the development of the near-Earth magnetotail and the auroral arc associated with a substorm onset, using the data from the THEMIS spacecraft and ground-based observatories at high temporal and spatial resolutions. We discuss four steps of the auroral development, linking them to magnetotail changes: the auroral fading, the initial brightening of an auroral onset arc, the enhancement of the wave-like structure, and the poleward expansion. A case study shows that near-Earth magnetic reconnection began at X~-17 RE at least ~3 min before the auroral initial brightening and ~1 min before the auroral fading. Ionospheric large-scale convection also became enhanced just before the auroral fading and before the auroral initial brightening. Then low-frequency waves were amplified in the plasma sheet at X~-10 RE, with the pressure increase due to the arrival of the earthward flow from the near-Earth reconnection site ~20 s before the enhancement of the auroral wave-like structure. Finally, the dipolarization began ~30 s before the auroral poleward expansion. On the basis of the present observations, we suggest that near-Earth magnetic reconnection plays two roles in the substorm triggering. First, it generates a fast earthward flow and Alfvén waves. When the Alfvén waves which propagate much faster than the fast flow reach the ionosphere, large-scale ionospheric convection is enhanced, leading to the auroral initial brightening and subsequent gradual growth of the auroral wave-like structure. Second, when the reconnection-initiated fast flow reaches the near-Earth magnetotail, it promotes rapid growth of an instability, such as the ballooning instability, and the auroral wave-like structure is further enhanced. When the instability grows sufficiently, the dipolarization and the auroral poleward expansion are initiated.

  6. Discovery and dynamical characterization of the Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wlodarczyk, I.; Cernis, K.; Boyle, R. P.; Laugalys, V.

    2014-03-01

    The near-Earth asteroid belt is continuously replenished with material originally moving in Amor-class orbits. Here, the orbit of the dynamically interesting Amor-class asteroid 2012 XH16 is analysed. This asteroid was discovered with the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) at the Mt Graham International Observatory as part of an ongoing asteroid survey focused on astrometry and photometry. The orbit of the asteroid was computed using 66 observations (57 obtained with VATT and 9 from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory-Spacewatch II project) to give a = 1.63 au, e = 0.36, i = 3.76°. The absolute magnitude of the asteroid is 22.3 which translates into a diameter in the range 104-231 m, assuming the average albedos of S-type and C-type asteroids, respectively. We have used the current orbit to study the future dynamical evolution of the asteroid under the perturbations of the planets and the Moon, relativistic effects, and the Yarkovsky force. Asteroid 2012 XH16 is locked close to the strong 1:2 mean motion resonance with the Earth. The object shows stable evolution and could survive in near-resonance for a relatively long period of time despite experiencing frequent close encounters with Mars. Moreover, results of our computations show that the asteroid 2012 XH16 can survive in the Amor region at most for about 200-400 Myr. The evolution is highly chaotic with a characteristic Lyapunov time of 245 yr. Jupiter is the main perturber but the effects of Saturn, Mars and the Earth-Moon system are also important. In particular, secular resonances with Saturn are significant.

  7. Deep Interior: The first comprehensive geophysical investigation of an asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, E.; Belton, M.; Klaasen, K.; McFadden, L.; Ostro, S.; Safaeinili, A.; Scheeres, D.; Sunshine, J.; Yeomans, D.

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) come closer to Earth than any other celestial body, and their compositions are represented on Earth by thousands of well-studied meteorites. Yet we understand neither their origin, evolution, nor their geophysical behavior. These secrets are locked up in their unexplored interiors. Goal 1 of the NASA Strategic Plan emphasizes the requirement to catalogue and understand NEOs down to 1 km diameter. Goal 4 urges us to understand natural processes at work in the low gravity environment. Goal 5 expresses the need to explore the solar system and to learn how planets originated and evolved. In response to the NASA Strategic Plan we are proposing a NASA Discovery mission whose primary science objective is to greatly advance the realization of these Goals by conducting the first investigation of the global geophysics of an asteroid. Radio reflection data from 5 km orbit about a 1 km NEO will provide a tomographic 3D image of electromagnetic properties. Mechanical properties will be examined in the simplest possible way, using explosions to initiate seismic cratering events and to expose diverse interior units for spectroscopic analysis. Deep Interior is the lowest-risk, lowest cost path towards attaining the required characterization of NEOs. It breaks new ground for future missions to asteroids and comets and facilitates the design of reliable NEO technologies. Our science goals are as follows, and the techniques (radio science, imaging, IR spectroscopy, active surface science) will be described at this meeting: Asteroid Interiors. Radio, gravity, and seismology experiments give a complete first picture of an asteroid's deep interior, resolving inclusions, voids and unit boundaries at ˜ 30 m scales, and determining global and regional mechanical properties. Surface Geophysics. Blast experiments explore the structure and mechanics of the upper meters, demonstrate microgravity cratering, trigger natural geomorphic events, and expose subsurface

  8. Asteroids mass determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffmann, M.

    1989-01-01

    Basic methods for asteroid mass determinations and their errors are discussed. New results and some current developments in the astrometric method are reviewed. New methods and techniques, such as electronic imaging, radar ranging and space probes are becoming important for asteroid mass determinations. Mass and density estimations on rotational properties and possible satelites are also discussed

  9. On the generation of solitary waves observed by Cluster in the near-Earth magnetosheath

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. S. Pickett

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Through case studies involving Cluster waveform observations, solitary waves in the form of bipolar and tripolar pulses have recently been found to be quite abundant in the near-Earth dayside magnetosheath. We expand on the results of those previous studies by examining the distribution of solitary waves from the bow shock to the magnetopause using Cluster waveform data. Cluster's orbit allows for the measurement of solitary waves in the magnetosheath from about 10 RE to 19.5 RE. Our results clearly show that within the magnetosheath, solitary waves are likely to be observed at any distance from the bow shock and that this distance has no dependence on the time durations and amplitudes of the solitary waves. In addition we have found that these same two quantities show no dependence on either the ion velocity or the angle between the ion velocity and the local magnetic field direction. These results point to the conclusion that the solitary waves are probably created locally in the magnetosheath at multiple locations, and that the generation mechanism is most likely not solely related to ion dynamics, if at all. To gain insight into a possible local generation mechanism, we have examined the electron differential energy flux characteristics parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field, as well as the local electron plasma and cyclotron frequencies and the type of bow shock that Cluster is behind, for several time intervals where solitary waves were observed in the magnetosheath. We have found that solitary waves are most likely to be observed when there are counterstreaming (~parallel and anti-parallel to the magnetic field electrons at or below about 100eV. However, there are times when these counterstreaming electrons are present when solitary waves are not. During these times the background magnetic field strength is usually very low (<10nT, implying that the amplitudes of the solitary waves, if present, would be near or below those of

  10. An High Resolution Near-Earth Objects Population Enabling Next-Generation Search Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tricaico, Pasquale; Beshore, E. C.; Larson, S. M.; Boattini, A.; Williams, G. V.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, the dedicated search for kilometer-size near-Earth objects (NEOs), potentially hazardous objects (PHOs), and potential Earth impactors has led to a boost in the rate of discoveries of these objects. The catalog of known NEOs is the fundamental ingredient used to develop a model for the NEOs population, either by assessing and correcting for the observational bias (Jedicke et al., 2002), or by evaluating the migration rates from the NEOs source regions (Bottke et al., 2002). The modeled NEOs population is a necessary tool used to track the progress in the search of large NEOs (Jedicke et al., 2003) and to try to predict the distribution of the ones still undiscovered, as well as to study the sky distribution of potential Earth impactors (Chesley & Spahr, 2004). We present a method to model the NEOs population in all six orbital elements, on a finely grained grid, allowing us the design and test of targeted and optimized search strategies. This method relies on the observational data routinely reported to the Minor Planet Center (MPC) by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) and by other active NEO surveys over the past decade, to determine on a nightly basis the efficiency in detecting moving objects as a function of observable quantities including apparent magnitude, rate of motion, airmass, and galactic latitude. The cumulative detection probability is then be computed for objects within a small range in orbital elements and absolute magnitude, and the comparison with the number of know NEOs within the same range allows us to model the population. When propagated to the present epoch and projected on the sky plane, this provides the distribution of the missing large NEOs, PHOs, and potential impactors.

  11. The Origin of the Near-Earth Plasma Population During a Substorm on November 24, 1996

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashour-Abdalla, M.; El-Alaoui, M.; Peroomian, V.; Walker, R. J.; Raeder, J.; Frank, L. A.; Paterson, W. R.

    1999-01-01

    We investigate the origins and the transport of ions observed in the near-Earth plasma sheet during the growth and expansion phases of a magnetospheric substorm that occurred on November 24, 1996. Ions observed at Geotail were traced backward in time in time-dependent magnetic and electric fields to determine their origins and the acceleration mechanisms responsible for their energization. Results from this investigation indicate that, during the growth phase of the substorm, most of the ions reaching Geotail had origins in the low latitude boundary layer (LLBL) and had already entered the magnetosphere when the growth phase began. Late in the growth phase and in the expansion phase a higher proportion of the ions reaching Geotail had their origin in the plasma mantle. Indeed, during the expansion phase more than 90% of the ions seen by Geotail were from the mantle. The ions were accelerated enroute to the spacecraft; however, most of the ions' energy gain was achieved by non-adiabatic acceleration while crossing the equatorial current sheet just prior to their detection by Geotail. In general, the plasma mantle from both southern and northern hemispheres supplied non-adiabatic ions to Geotail, whereas the LLBL supplied mostly adiabatic ions to the distributions measured by the spacecraft. Distribution functions computed at the ion sources indicate that ionospheric ions reaching Geotail during the expansion phase were significantly heated. Plasma mantle source distributions indicated the presence of a high-latitude reconnection region that allowed ion entry into the magnetosphere when the IMF was northward. These ions reached Geotail during the expansion phase. Ions from the traditional plasma mantle had access to the spacecraft throughout the substorm.

  12. Quasi-parallel whistler mode waves observed by THEMIS during near-earth dipolarizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Le Contel

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available We report on quasi-parallel whistler emissions detected by the near-earth satellites of the THEMIS mission before, during, and after local dipolarization. These emissions are associated with an electron temperature anisotropy α=Te/T||e>1 consistent with the linear theory of whistler mode anisotropy instability. When the whistler mode emissions are observed the measured electron anisotropy varies inversely with β||e (the ratio of the electron parallel pressure to the magnetic pressure as predicted by Gary and Wang (1996. Narrow band whistler emissions correspond to the small α existing before dipolarization whereas the broad band emissions correspond to large α observed during and after dipolarization. The energy in the whistler mode is leaving the current sheet and is propagating along the background magnetic field, towards the Earth. A simple time-independent description based on the Liouville's theorem indicates that the electron temperature anisotropy decreases with the distance along the magnetic field from the equator. Once this variation of α is taken into account, the linear theory predicts an equatorial origin for the whistler mode. The linear theory is also consistent with the observed bandwidth of wave emissions. Yet, the anisotropy required to be fully consistent with the observations is somewhat larger than the measured one. Although the discrepancy remains within the instrumental error bars, this could be due to time-dependent effects which have been neglected. The possible role of the whistler waves in the substorm process is discussed.

  13. Mechanisms for the Dissipation of Alfven Waves in Near-Earth Space Plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nagendra; Khazanov, George; Krivorutsky, E. N.; Davis, John M. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Alfven waves are a major mechanism for the transport of electromagnetic energy from the distant part of the magnetosphere to the near-Earth space. This is especially true for the auroral and polar regions of the Earth. However, the mechanisms for their dissipation have remained illusive. One of the mechanisms is the formation of double layers when the current associated with Alfven waves in the inertial regime interact with density cavities, which either are generated nonlinearly by the waves themselves or are a part of the ambient plasma turbulence. Depending on the strength of the cavities, weak and strong double layers could form. Such double layers are transient; their lifetimes depend on that of the cavities. Thus they impulsively accelerate ions and electrons. Another mechanism is the resonant absorption of broadband Alfven- wave noise by the ions at the ion cyclotron frequencies. But this resonant absorption may not be possible for the very low frequency waves, and it may be more suited for electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves. A third mechanism is the excitation of secondary waves by the drifts of electrons and ions in the Alfven wave fields. It is found that under suitable conditions, the relative drifts between different ion species and/or between electrons and ions are large enough to drive lower hybrid waves, which could cause transverse accelerations of ions and parallel accelerations of electrons. This mechanism is being further studied by means of kinetic simulations using 2.5- and 3-D particle-in-cell codes. The ongoing modeling efforts on space weather require quantitative estimates of energy inputs of various kinds, including the electromagnetic energy. Our studies described here contribute to the methods of determining the estimates of the input from ubiquitous Alfven waves.

  14. Performance Improvement of Near Earth Space Survey (NESS Wide-Field Telescope (NESS-2 Optics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Yeol Yu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available We modified the optical system of 500 mm wide-field telescope of which point spread function showed an irregularity. The telescope has been operated for Near Earth Space Survey (NESS located at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO in Australia, and the optical system was brought back to Korea in January 2008. After performing a numerical simulation with the tested value of surface figure error of the primary mirror using optical design program, we found that the surface figure error of the mirror should be fabricated less than root mean square (RMS λ/10 in order to obtain a stellar full width at half maximum (FWHM below 28 μm. However, we started to figure the mirror for the target value of RMS λ/20, because system surface figure error would be increased by the error induced by the optical axis adjustment, mirror cell installation, and others. The radius of curvature of the primary mirror was 1,946 mm after the correction. Its measured surface figure error was less than RMS λ/20 on the table of polishing machine, and RMS λ/15 after installation in the primary mirror cell. A test observation performed at Daeduk Observatory at Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute by utilizing the exiting mount, and resulted in 39.8 μm of stellar FWHM. It was larger than the value from numerical simulation, and showed wing-shaped stellar image. It turned out that the measured-curvature of the secondary mirror, 1,820 mm, was not the same as the designed one, 1,795.977 mm. We fabricated the secondary mirror to the designed value, and finally obtained a stellar FWHM of 27 μm after re-installation of the optical system into SSO NESS Observatory in Australia.

  15. Cluster observations of near-Earth magnetospheric lobe plasma densities – a statistical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. Svenes

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The Cluster-mission has enabled a study of the near-Earth magnetospheric lobes throughout the waning part of solar cycle 23. During the first seven years of the mission the satellites crossed this region of space regularly from about July to October. We have obtained new and more accurate plasma densities in this region based on spacecraft potential measurements from the EFW-instrument. The plasma density measurements are found by converting the potential measurements using a functional relationship between these two parameters. Our observations have shown that throughout this period a full two thirds of the measurements were contained in the range 0.007–0.092 cm−3 irrespective of solar wind conditions or geomagnetic activity. In fact, the most probable density encountered was 0.047 cm−3, staying roughly constant throughout the entire observation period. The plasma population in this region seems to reflect an equilibrium situation in which the density is independent of the solar wind condition or geomagnetic activity. However, the high density tail of the population (ne>0.2 cm−3 seemed to decrease with the waning solar cycle. This points to a source region influenced by the diminishing solar UV/EUV-intensity. Noting that the quiet time polar wind has just such a development and that it is magnetically coupled to the lobes, it seems likely to assume that this is a prominent source for the lobe plasma.

  16. Space weathering on near-Earth objects investigated by neutral-particle detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plainaki, C.; Milillo, A.; Orsini, S.; Mura, A.; de Angelis, E.; di Lellis, A. M.; Dotto, E.; Livi, S.; Mangano, V.; Palumbo, M. E.

    2009-04-01

    The ion-sputtering (IS) process is active in many planetary environments in the solar system where plasma precipitates directly on the surface (for instance, Mercury, Moon and Europa). In particular, solar wind sputtering is one of the most important agents for the surface erosion of a near-Earth object (NEO), acting together with other surface release processes, such as photon stimulated desorption (PSD), thermal desorption (TD) and micrometeoroid impact vaporization (MIV). The energy distribution of the IS-released neutrals peaks at a few eVs and extends up to hundreds of eVs. Since all other release processes produce particles of lower energies, the presence of neutral atoms in the energy range above 10 eV and below a few keVs (sputtered high-energy atoms (SHEA)) identifies the IS process. SHEA easily escape from the NEO, due to NEO's extremely weak gravity. Detection and analysis of SHEA will give important information on surface-loss processes as well as on surface elemental composition. The investigation of the active release processes, as a function of the external conditions and the NEO surface properties, is crucial for obtaining a clear view of the body's present loss rate as well as for getting clues on its evolution, which depends significantly on space weather. In this work, an attempt to analyze processes that take place on the surface of these small airless bodies, as a result of their exposure to the space environment, has been realized. For this reason, a new space weathering model (space weathering on NEO-SPAWN) is presented. Moreover, an instrument concept of a neutral-particle analyzer specifically designed for the measurement of neutral density and the detection of SHEA from a NEO is proposed.

  17. Discovery of Suprathermal Ionospheric Origin Fe+ in and Near Earth's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christon, S. P.; Hamilton, D. C.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D. G.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Spjeldvik, W. N.; Nylund, S. R.

    2017-11-01

    Suprathermal (87-212 keV/e) singly charged iron, Fe+, has been discovered in and near Earth's 9-30 RE equatorial magnetosphere using 21 years of Geotail STICS (suprathermal ion composition spectrometer) data. Its detection is enhanced during higher geomagnetic and solar activity levels. Fe+, rare compared to dominant suprathermal solar wind and ionospheric origin heavy ions, might derive from one or all three candidate lower-energy sources: (a) ionospheric outflow of Fe+ escaped from ion layers near 100 km altitude, (b) charge exchange of nominal solar wind iron, Fe+≥7, in Earth's exosphere, or (c) inner source pickup Fe+ carried by the solar wind, likely formed by solar wind Fe interaction with near-Sun interplanetary dust particles. Earth's semipermanent ionospheric Fe+ layers derive from tons of interplanetary dust particles entering Earth's atmosphere daily, and Fe+ scattered from these layers is observed up to 1000 km altitude, likely escaping in strong ionospheric outflows. Using 26% of STICS's magnetosphere-dominated data when possible Fe+2 ions are not masked by other ions, we demonstrate that solar wind Fe charge exchange secondaries are not an obvious Fe+ source. Contemporaneous Earth flyby and cruise data from charge-energy-mass spectrometer on the Cassini spacecraft, a functionally identical instrument, show that inner source pickup Fe+ is likely not important at suprathermal energies. Consequently, we suggest that ionospheric Fe+ constitutes at least a significant portion of Earth's suprathermal Fe+, comparable to the situation at Saturn where suprathermal Fe+ is also likely of ionospheric origin.

  18. Boulder Capture System Design Options for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission Alternate Approach Trade Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belbin, Scott P.; Merrill, Raymond G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a boulder acquisition and asteroid surface interaction electromechanical concept developed for the Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission (ARRM) option to capture a free standing boulder on the surface of a 100 m or larger Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). It details the down select process and ranking of potential boulder capture methods, the evolution of a simple yet elegant articulating spaceframe, and ongoing risk reduction and concept refinement efforts. The capture system configuration leverages the spaceframe, heritage manipulators, and a new microspine technology to enable the ARRM boulder capture. While at the NEA it enables attenuation of terminal descent velocity, ascent to escape velocity, boulder collection and restraint. After departure from the NEA it enables, robotic inspection, sample caching, and crew Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

  19. Broadband Photometry Of The Potentially Asteroid 277475 (2005 WK4) and Corrected 52762 (1998 MT24) Colors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, M.; Buratt, B.; Carcione, A.; Borlase, R.

    2013-08-01

    The Near-Earth Object (NEO) 277475 (2005 WK4) was discovered by the Siding Spring Survey (MPEC 2005-W79) on November 27, 2005. With a Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.004 AU and absolute magnitude H_V=20.1 mag, this object has been designated a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) by the Minor Planet Center. The asteroid made an Earth close-approach of 0.021 AU on August 09.2, 2013 and was extensively imaged by the JPL Planetary Radar Team ( http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-254 ).

  20. The Origin of Asteroid 101955 (1999 RQ36)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campins, Humberto; Morbidelli, A.; de León, J.; Tsiganis, K.; Licandro, J.

    2010-10-01

    Near-Earth asteroid 101955 (1999 RQ36; henceforth RQ36) is particularly interesting. It's especially accessible to spacecraft and is the primary target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission; it's also a potentially hazardous asteroid (Milani et al. 2009). We combine dynamical and spectral information to identify the most likely main-belt origin of RQ36 and conclude that it is the Polana family, located at a semi-major axis of about 2.42 AU (our approach is similar to that used by de León et al. (2010) to link 3200 Phaethon, parent body of the Geminids, to 2 Pallas). Our conclusion is based on the following results. a) Dynamical evidence favors strongly an inner-belt, low-inclination (2.15 AU families (families are favored over single objects because small fragments have already been produced). c) The Polana family is characterized by low albedos and B-class spectra or colors (Bus and Binzel 2002), which is the same spectral class, and albedo, as RQ36. d) The SDSS colors show that the Polana family is the branch of the Nysa-Polana complex that extends toward the ν6 resonance; furthermore, Polana has delivered objects the size of RQ36 and larger into the ν6 resonance. e) RQ36 is retrograde, consistent with the Yarkovsky effect having moved it inward from Polana into the ν6. f) A quantitative comparison of visible and near-infrared spectra does not yield a unique match for RQ36; however, it is consistent with a compositional link between RQ36 and the Polana family. Finally, the Polana Family is likely the most important inner-belt source of low albedo Near-Earth asteroids. This work was supported by NASA and NSF.

  1. Asteroid collisional history - Effects on sizes and spins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, D.R.; Weidenschilling, S.J.; Farinella, P.; Paolicchi, P.; Binzel, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    The effects of asteroid collisional history on sizes and spins of present-day objects are discussed. Collisional evolution studies indicate that collisions have altered the spin-rates of small bodies, but that the largest asteroids may have retained their primordial rotation rates. Most asteroids larger than 100 km diam have probably been shattered, but have gravitationally recaptured their fragments to form a rubble-pile structure. Large angular momentum asteroids appear to have Maclaurian spheroidal or Jacobi-ellipsoid-like shapes; some of them may have fissioned into binaries. An integrated size and spin collisional evolution model is presented, with two critical parameters: one which determines the spin rates for small fragments resulting from a shattering collision, and the other determines the fraction of impact angular momentum that is retained by the target. 36 refs

  2. Physical Characterization of Warm Spitzer-observed Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Trilling, David E.; Delbo, Marco; Hora, Joseph L.; Mueller, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Near-infrared spectroscopy of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) connects diagnostic spectral features to specific surface mineralogies. The combination of spectroscopy with albedos and diameters derived from thermal infrared observations can increase the scientific return beyond that of the individual datasets. For instance, some taxonomic classes can be separated into distinct compositional groupings with albedo and different mineralogies with similar albedos can be distinguished with spectroscopy. To that end, we have completed a spectroscopic observing campaign to complement the ExploreNEOs Warm Spitzer program that obtained albedos and diameters of nearly 600 NEOs (Trilling et al., 2010). The spectroscopy campaign included visible and near-infrared observations of ExploreNEOs targets from various observatories. Here we present the results of observations using the low-resolution prism mode (approx. 0.7-2.5 microns) of the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). We also include near-infrared observations of Explore-NEOs targets from the MIT-UH-IRTF Joint Campaign for Spectral Reconnaissance. Our dataset includes near-infrared spectra of 187 ExploreNEOs targets (125 observations of 92 objects from our survey and 213 observations of 154 objects from the MIT survey). We identify a taxonomic class for each spectrum and use band parameter analysis to investigate the mineralogies for the S-, Q-, and V-complex objects. Our analysis suggests that for spectra that contain near-infrared data but lack the visible wavelength region, the Bus-DeMeo system misidentifies some S-types as Q-types. We find no correlation between spectral band parameters and ExploreNEOs albedos and diameters. We investigate the correlations of phase angle with band area ratio and near-infrared spectral slope. We find slightly negative Band Area Ratio (BAR) correlations with phase angle for Eros and Ivar, but a positive BAR correlation with phase angle for Ganymed.The results of our

  3. A TEOM (tm) particulate monitor for comet dust, near Earth space, and planetary atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-01-01

    Scientific missions to comets, near earth space, and planetary atmospheres require particulate and mass accumulation instrumentation for both scientific and navigation purposes. The Rupprecht & Patashnick tapered element oscillating microbalance can accurately measure both mass flux and mass distribution of particulates over a wide range of particle sizes and loadings. Individual particles of milligram size down to a few picograms can be resolved and counted, and the accumulation of smaller particles or molecular deposition can be accurately measured using the sensors perfected and toughened under this contract. No other sensor has the dynamic range or sensitivity attained by these picogram direct mass measurement sensors. The purpose of this contract was to develop and implement reliable and repeatable manufacturing methods; build and test prototype sensors; and outline a quality control program. A dust 'thrower' was to be designed and built, and used to verify performance. Characterization and improvement of the optical motion detection system and drive feedback circuitry was to be undertaken, with emphasis on reliability, low noise, and low power consumption. All the goals of the contract were met or exceeded. An automated glass puller was built and used to make repeatable tapered elements. Materials and assembly methods were standardized, and controllers and calibrated fixtures were developed and used in all phases of preparing, coating and assembling the sensors. Quality control and reliability resulted from the use of calibrated manufacturing equipment with measurable working parameters. Thermal and vibration testing of completed prototypes showed low temperature sensitivity and high vibration tolerance. An electrostatic dust thrower was used in vacuum to throw particles from 2 x 10(exp 6) g to 7 x 10(exp -12) g in size. Using long averaging times, particles as small as 0.7 to 4 x 10(exp 11) g were weighted to resolutions in the 5 to 9 x 10(exp -13) g range

  4. Plasma jets in the near-Earth's magnetotail (Julius Bartels Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Rumi

    2014-05-01

    The Earth's magnetosphere is formed as a consequence of the interaction between the magnetized solar wind and the terrestrial magnetic field. While the large-scale and average (>hours) properties of the Earth's magnetotail current sheet can be well described by overall solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, the most dramatic energy conversion process takes place in an explosive manner involving transient (up to several minutes) and localized (up to a few RE) phenomena in the plasma sheet/current sheet regions. One of the most clear observables of such processes are the localized and transient plasma jets called Bursty bulk flows (BBF), embedding velocity peaks of 1-min duration, which are called flow bursts. This talk is a review of the current understanding of these plasma jets by highlighting the results from multi-spacecraft observations by the Cluster and THEMIS spacecraft. The first four-spacecraft mission Cluster crossed the near-Earth plasma sheet with inter-spacecraft distance of about 250 km to 10000 km, ideal for studying local structures of the flow bursts. The five-spacecraft THEMIS mission , separated by larger distances , succeeded to monitor the large-scale evolution of the fast flows from the mid-tail to the inner magnetosphere. Multi-point observations of BBFS have established the importance of measuring local gradients of the fields and the plasma to understand the BBF structures such as the spatial scales and 3D structure of localized Earthward convecting flux tubes. Among others the magnetic field disturbance forming at the front of BBF, called dipolarization front (DF), has been intensively studied. From the propagation properties of DF relative to the flows and by comparing with ionospheric data, the evolution of the fast flows in terms of magnetosphere-ionospheric coupling through field-aligned currents are established. An important aspect of BBF is the interaction of the Earthward plasma jets and the Earth's dipole field. Multi

  5. Crosswalking near-Earth and space physics ontologies in SPASE and ESPAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galkin, I. A.; Fung, S. F.; Benson, R. F.; Heynderickx, D.; Ritschel, B.; King, T. A.; Roberts, D. A.; Hapgood, M. A.; Belehaki, A.

    2015-12-01

    In order to support scientific discoveries in Heliophysics (HP), with modern data systems, the HP Data Centers actively pursue harmonization of available metadata that allows crossing boundaries between existing data models, conventions, and resource interfaces. The discoverability of HP observations is improved when associated metadata describes their physical content in agreed terms as a part of the resource registration. One of the great challenges of enabling such content-targeted data search capability is the harmonization of domain ontology across data providers. Ontologies are the cornerstones of the content-aware data systems: they define an agreed vocabulary of keywords that capture the essence of domain-specific concepts and their relationships. With the introduction of the Virtual Wave Observatory (VWO), as part of NASA's Virtual System Observatory in 2008, the task of formulating the HP ontology became yet more complicated. Definitions of the wave domain concepts required several layers of specifications that described the generation, propagation, and interaction of the waves with the underlying medium in addition to the observation itself. Simple keyword lists could not provide a sufficiently information-rich description, given the complexity of the wave domain, and the development of a more powerful schema was required. The ontology research at the VWO eventually resulted in a suitable multi-hierarchical design that found its first implementation in 2015 at one of the European space physics data repositories, the near-Earth Space Data Infrastructure for e-Science (ESPAS). Similar to many other European geoscience projects, ESPAS is based on the ISO 19156 Observation and Measurements standard. In cooperation with the NASA VWO, the ESPAS project has deployed a space physics ontology design for all data registration purposes. The VWO science team is now uniquely positioned to establish a crosswalk between the ESPAS ontology based on ISO 19156 and the VWO

  6. Contrasting dynamics of electrons and protons in the near-Earth plasma sheet during dipolarization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malykhin, Andrey Y.; Grigorenko, Elena E.; Kronberg, Elena A.; Koleva, Rositza; Ganushkina, Natalia Y.; Kozak, Ludmila; Daly, Patrick W.

    2018-05-01

    The fortunate location of Cluster and the THEMIS P3 probe in the near-Earth plasma sheet (PS) (at X ˜ -7-9 RE) allowed for the multipoint analysis of properties and spectra of electron and proton injections. The injections were observed during dipolarization and substorm current wedge formation associated with braking of multiple bursty bulk flows (BBFs). In the course of dipolarization, a gradual growth of the BZ magnetic field lasted ˜ 13 min and it was comprised of several BZ pulses or dipolarization fronts (DFs) with duration ≤ 1 min. Multipoint observations have shown that the beginning of the increase in suprathermal ( > 50 keV) electron fluxes - the injection boundary - was observed in the PS simultaneously with the dipolarization onset and it propagated dawnward along with the onset-related DF. The subsequent dynamics of the energetic electron flux was similar to the dynamics of the magnetic field during the dipolarization. Namely, a gradual linear growth of the electron flux occurred simultaneously with the gradual growth of the BZ field, and it was comprised of multiple short ( ˜ few minutes) electron injections associated with the BZ pulses. This behavior can be explained by the combined action of local betatron acceleration at the BZ pulses and subsequent gradient drifts of electrons in the flux pile up region through the numerous braking and diverting DFs. The nonadiabatic features occasionally observed in the electron spectra during the injections can be due to the electron interactions with high-frequency electromagnetic or electrostatic fluctuations transiently observed in the course of dipolarization. On the contrary, proton injections were detected only in the vicinity of the strongest BZ pulses. The front thickness of these pulses was less than a gyroradius of thermal protons that ensured the nonadiabatic acceleration of protons. Indeed, during the injections in the energy spectra of protons the pronounced bulge was clearly observed in a

  7. The problems of cosmic ray particle simulation for the near-Earth orbital and interplanetary flight conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nymmik, R.A.

    1999-01-01

    A wide range of the galactic cosmic ray and SEP event flux simulation problems for the near-Earth satellite and manned spacecraft orbits and for the interplanetary mission trajectories are discussed. The models of the galactic cosmic ray and SEP events in the Earth orbit beyond the Earth's magnetosphere are used as a basis. The particle fluxes in the near-Earth orbits should be calculated using the transmission functions. To calculate the functions, the dependences of the cutoff rigidities on the magnetic disturbance level and on magnetic local time have to be known. In the case of space flights towards the Sun and to the boundary of the solar system, particular attention is paid to the changes in the SEP event occurrence frequency and size. The particle flux gradients are applied in this case to galactic cosmic ray fluxes

  8. Spacecraft exploration of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veverka, J.; Langevin, Y.; Farquhar, R.; Fulchignoni, M.

    1989-01-01

    After two decades of spacecraft exploration, we still await the first direct investigation of an asteroid. This paper describes how a growing international interest in the solar system's more primitive bodies should remedy this. Plans are under way in Europe for a dedicated asteroid mission (Vesta) which will include multiple flybys with in situ penetrator studies. Possible targets include 4 Vesta, 8 Flora and 46 Hestia; launch its scheduled for 1994 or 1996. In the United States, NASA plans include flybys of asteroids en route to outer solar system targets

  9. Asteroid clusters similar to asteroid pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravec, P.; Fatka, P.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Scheeres, D. J.; Kušnirák, P.; Hornoch, K.; Galád, A.; Vraštil, J.; Pray, D. P.; Krugly, Yu. N.; Gaftonyuk, N. M.; Inasaridze, R. Ya.; Ayvazian, V. R.; Kvaratskhelia, O. I.; Zhuzhunadze, V. T.; Husárik, M.; Cooney, W. R.; Gross, J.; Terrell, D.; Világi, J.; Kornoš, L.; Gajdoš, Š.; Burkhonov, O.; Ehgamberdiev, Sh. A.; Donchev, Z.; Borisov, G.; Bonev, T.; Rumyantsev, V. V.; Molotov, I. E.

    2018-04-01

    We studied the membership, size ratio and rotational properties of 13 asteroid clusters consisting of between 3 and 19 known members that are on similar heliocentric orbits. By backward integrations of their orbits, we confirmed their cluster membership and estimated times elapsed since separation of the secondaries (the smaller cluster members) from the primary (i.e., cluster age) that are between 105 and a few 106 years. We ran photometric observations for all the cluster primaries and a sample of secondaries and we derived their accurate absolute magnitudes and rotation periods. We found that 11 of the 13 clusters follow the same trend of primary rotation period vs mass ratio as asteroid pairs that was revealed by Pravec et al. (2010). We generalized the model of the post-fission system for asteroid pairs by Pravec et al. (2010) to a system of N components formed by rotational fission and we found excellent agreement between the data for the 11 asteroid clusters and the prediction from the theory of their formation by rotational fission. The two exceptions are the high-mass ratio (q > 0.7) clusters of (18777) Hobson and (22280) Mandragora for which a different formation mechanism is needed. Two candidate mechanisms for formation of more than one secondary by rotational fission were published: the secondary fission process proposed by Jacobson and Scheeres (2011) and a cratering collision event onto a nearly critically rotating primary proposed by Vokrouhlický et al. (2017). It will have to be revealed from future studies which of the clusters were formed by one or the other process. To that point, we found certain further interesting properties and features of the asteroid clusters that place constraints on the theories of their formation, among them the most intriguing being the possibility of a cascade disruption for some of the clusters.

  10. Techniques For Near-Earth Interplanetary Matter Detection And Characterisation From Optical Ground-Based Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocaña, Francisco

    2017-05-01

    PhD Thesis defended the 5th June 2017. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.This dissertation undertakes the research of the interplanetary matter near the Earth using two different observational approaches.The first one is based on the detection of the sunlight reflected by the bodies. The detection and characterisation of these nearby population require networks of medium-sized telescopes to survey and track them. We design a robotic system (the TBT telescopes) for the European Space Agency as a prototype for a future network. The first unit is already installed in Spain and we present the results of the commissioning. Additionally we evaluate the expected performance of such an instrument using a simulation with a synthetic population. We consider that the system designed is a powerful instrument for nearby asteroid discovery and tracking. It is based on commercial components, and therefore ready for a scalable implementation in a global network.Meanwhile the bodies smaller than asteroids are observed using the atmosphere as a detector. When these particles collide with the atmospheric molecules they are heated, ablated, sublimated, and finally light is emitted by these hot vapours, what we call meteors. We conduct the investigation of these meteors to study the meteoroids. In particular we address two different topics: On one hand we explore the size/mass frequency distribution of meteoroids using flux determination when the collide into the atmosphere. We develop a method to determine this flux using video observations of meteors and analyse the properties of meteors as an optical proxy to meteoroids in order to maximise the detection. It yields three ground-based observational solutions that we transform into instrumental designs. First we design and develop a meteor all-sky detection station for Observatorio UCM and use the Draconids 2011 campaign as a showcase for the flux determination, with successful results. Then we investigate the observation of meteors

  11. The kilometer-sized Main Belt asteroid population revealed by Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, E. L.; Mizuno, D. R.; Shenoy, S. S.; Woodward, C. E.; Carey, S. J.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Kraemer, K. E.; Price, S. D.

    2015-06-01

    Aims: Multi-epoch Spitzer Space Telescope 24 μm data is utilized from the MIPSGAL and Taurus Legacy surveys to detect asteroids based on their relative motion. Methods: Infrared detections are matched to known asteroids and average diameters and albedos are derived using the near Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) for 1865 asteroids ranging in size from 0.2 to 169 km. A small subsample of these objects was also detected by IRAS or MSX and the single wavelength albedo and diameter fits derived from these data are within the uncertainties of the IRAS and/or MSX derived albedos and diameters and available occultation diameters, which demonstrates the robustness of our technique. Results: The mean geometric albedo of the small Main Belt asteroids in this sample is pV = 0.134 with a sample standard deviation of 0.106. The albedo distribution of this sample is far more diverse than the IRAS or MSX samples. The cumulative size-frequency distribution of asteroids in the Main Belt at small diameters is directly derived and a 3σ deviation from the fitted size-frequency distribution slope is found near 8 km. Completeness limits of the optical and infrared surveys are discussed. Tables 1-3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/578/A42

  12. Asteroid family dynamics in the inner main belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykhuis, Melissa Joy

    The inner main asteroid belt is an important source of near-Earth objects and terrestrial planet impactors; however, the dynamics and history of this region are challenging to understand, due to its high population density and the presence of multiple orbital resonances. This dissertation explores the properties of two of the most populous inner main belt family groups --- the Flora family and the Nysa-Polana complex --- investigating their memberships, ages, spin properties, collision dynamics, and range in orbital and reflectance parameters. Though diffuse, the family associated with asteroid (8) Flora dominates the inner main belt in terms of the extent of its members in orbital parameter space, resulting in its significant overlap with multiple neighboring families. This dissertation introduces a new method for membership determination (the core sample method) which enables the distinction of the Flora family from the background, permitting its further analysis. The Flora family is shown to have a signature in plots of semimajor axis vs. size consistent with that expected for a collisional family dispersed as a result of the Yarkovsky radiation effect. The family's age is determined from the Yarkovsky dispersion to be 950 My. Furthermore, a survey of the spin sense of 21 Flora-region asteroids, accomplished via a time-efficient modification of the epoch method for spin sense determination, confirms the single-collision Yarkovsky-dispersed model for the family's origin. The neighboring Nysa-Polana complex is the likely source region for many of the carbonaceous near-Earth asteroids, several of which are important targets for spacecraft reconnaissance and sample return missions. Family identification in the Nysa-Polana complex via the core sample method reveals two families associated with asteroid (135) Hertha, both with distinct age and reflectance properties. The larger of these two families demonstrates a correlation in semimajor axis and eccentricity

  13. Asteroid taxonomic classifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports on three taxonomic classification schemes developed and applied to the body of available color and albedo data. Asteroid taxonomic classifications according to two of these schemes are reproduced

  14. Distant asteroids and Chiron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    French, L.M.; Vilas, F.; Hartmann, W.K.; Tholen, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Knowledge of the physical properties of distant asteroids (a>3.3 AU) has grown dramatically over the past five years, due to systematic compositional and lightcurve studies. Most of these objects have red, dark surfaces, and their spectra show a reddening in spectral slope with heliocentric distance implying a change in surface composition. Trojans for which near-opposition phase curve information is available appear to show little or no opposition effect, unlike any dark solar system objects. The lightcurve amplitudes of Trojan and Hilda asteroids imply significantly more elongated shapes for these groups than for main-belt asteroids of comparable size. These recent observations are reviewed in the context of their implications for the formation and subsequent evolution of the distant asteroids, and their interrelations with the main belt, Chiron and comets

  15. Asteroid rotation. IV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, A.W.; Young, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    The results from the year 1979 of an ongoing program of asteroid photometry at Table Mountain Observatory are presented. The results for 53 asteroids are summarized in a table, showing the number, name, opposition date, taxonomic class, diameter, absolute magnitude, mean absolute magnitude at zero phase angle and values of the absolute magnitude and linear phase coefficient derived from it, the rotation period in hours, peak-to-peak amplitude of variation, difference between mean and maximum brightness, and reliability index. Another table presents data on aspect and comparison stars, including brightness and distance data. Reliable rotation periods are reported for 22 asteroids for which no previous values are known. For seven asteroids, periods are reported which are revisions of previously reported values

  16. 24-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This dataset is comprised of asteroid flux data measured in 26 filters using the McCord dual beam photometer, and covering the range 0.32 - 1.08 microns for 285...

  17. 52-COLOR ASTEROID SURVEY

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains 52-color IR data of asteroids, taken using a double circularly variable filter. The short wavelength portion of the CVF covered the octave...

  18. Asteroids@Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durech, Josef; Hanus, J.; Vanco, R.

    2012-10-01

    We present a new project called Asteroids@home (http://asteroidsathome.net/boinc). It is a volunteer-computing project that uses an open-source BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) software to distribute tasks to volunteers, who provide their computing resources. The project was created at the Astronomical Institute, Charles University in Prague, in cooperation with the Czech National Team. The scientific aim of the project is to solve a time-consuming inverse problem of shape reconstruction of asteroids from sparse-in-time photometry. The time-demanding nature of the problem comes from the fact that with sparse-in-time photometry the rotation period of an asteroid is not apriori known and a huge parameter space must be densely scanned for the best solution. The nature of the problem makes it an ideal task to be solved by distributed computing - the period parameter space can be divided into small bins that can be scanned separately and then joined together to give the globally best solution. In the framework of the the project, we process asteroid photometric data from surveys together with asteroid lightcurves and we derive asteroid shapes and spin states. The algorithm is based on the lightcurve inversion method developed by Kaasalainen et al. (Icarus 153, 37, 2001). The enormous potential of distributed computing will enable us to effectively process also the data from future surveys (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Gaia mission, etc.). We also plan to process data of a synthetic asteroid population to reveal biases of the method. In our presentation, we will describe the project, show the first results (new models of asteroids), and discuss the possibilities of its further development. This work has been supported by the grant GACR P209/10/0537 of the Czech Science Foundation and by the Research Program MSM0021620860 of the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

  19. Anaphylaxis, Intra-Abdominal Infections, Skin Lacerations, and Behavioral Emergencies: A Literature Review of Austere Analogs for a near Earth Asteroid Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chough, Natacha G.; Watkins, Sharmi; Menon, Anil S.

    2012-01-01

    As space exploration is directed towards destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, the consequent new set of medical risks will drive requirements for new capabilities and more resources to ensure crew health. The Space Medicine Exploration Medical Conditions List (SMEMCL), developed by the Exploration Medical Capability element of the Human Research Program, addresses the risk of "unacceptable health and mission outcomes due to limitations of in-flight medical capabilities". It itemizes 85 evidence-based clinical requirements for eight different mission profiles and identifies conditions warranting further research and technology development. Each condition is given a clinical priority for each mission profile. Four conditions -- intra-abdominal infections, skin lacerations, anaphylaxis, and behavioral emergencies -- were selected as a starting point for analysis. A systematic literature review was performed to understand how these conditions are treated in austere, limited-resource, space-analog environments (i.e., high-altitude and mountain environments, submarines, military deployments, Antarctica, isolated wilderness environments, in-flight environments, and remote, resource-poor, rural environments). These environments serve as analogs to spaceflight because of their shared characteristics (limited medical resources, delay in communication, confined living quarters, difficulty with resupply, variable time to evacuation). Treatment of these four medical conditions in austere environments provides insight into medical equipment and training requirements for exploration-class missions.

  20. Asteroid rotation rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.; Farinella, P.

    1989-01-01

    Within the last decade the data base of asteroid rotation parameters (rotation rates and lightcurve amplitudes) has become sufficiently large to identify some definite rends and properties which can help us to interpret asteroid collisional evolution. Many significant correlations are found between rotation parameters and diameter, with distinct changes occurring near 125 km. The size range, which is also the diameter above which self-gravity may become important, perhaps represents a division between surviving primordial asteroids and collisional fragments. A Maxwellian is able to fit the observed rotation rate distributions of asteroids with D>125 km, implying that their rotation rates may be determined by collisional evolution. Asteroids with D<125 km show an excess of slow rotators and their non-Maxwellian distributions suggests that their rotation rates are more strongly influenced by other processes, such as the distribution resulting from their formation in catastrophic disruption events. Other correlations observed in the data set include different mean rotation rates for C, S and M type asteroids implying that their surface spectra are indicative of bulk properties

  1. The role of "asteroid taxis" at mastering of Solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2018-05-01

    At the present time, two main tendencies can be considered for the solar system to be habitable: 1) to do something with the objects of the solar system in order to make them suitable for life; and 2), it is necessary to make it so that the interplanetary space of the solar system also becomes suitable for life. We believe that it is better to combine these two trends. To this end, we must develop a methodology for constructing special settlements at asteroids and cometary nuclei. And then, it is necessary to build settlements - the "technospheres" - on the most diverse bodies in the Solar system: asteroids, cometary nuclei, satellites of planets and even on some planets. And, first of all, it is highly desirable to use the own resources of the listed objects. Such "technospheres" should be long-term settlements in interplanetary space and at planetoids. To save energy resources, it is necessary to use near-Earth asteroids enriched with water ice. To successfully implement these concepts, it is necessary at least by two orders of magnitude reduce the cost of such settlements.

  2. Geographos asteroid flyby and autonomous navigation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ng, L.C.; Pines, D.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Patz, B.J.; Perron, D.C. [Coleman Research Corp., Orlando, FL (United States)

    1993-02-22

    Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE), also known as Clementine, is a collection of science experiments conducted in near-earth with the goal of demonstrating Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO) developed technologies. The 785 lb (fully fueled) spacecraft will be launched into low Earth orbit in February 1994 together with a Star 37 solid kick motor and interstage. After orbit circulation using Clementine`s 110 lb Delta-V thruster, the Star 37 will execute a trans-lunar injection burn that will send the spacecraft toward lunar obit. The 110-lb will then be used in a sequence of burns to insert Clementine into a trimmed, polar orbit around the moon. After a two month moon mapping mission, Clementine will execute burns to leave lunar orbit, sling-shot around Earth, and flyby the moon on a 9.4 million km journey toward the asteroid Geographos. After about three months in transit, Clementine will attempt a flyby with a closest point of approach of 100 km from the asteroid on August 31, 1994. During its approach to Geographos, Clementine will be tracked by the Deep Space Network (DSN) and receive guidance updates. The last update and correction burn will occur about one day out of the flyby. Multiple experiments will be performed at key events during the mission that utilize Clementine`s SDIO-derived resources, including its Star Trackers, UV/Vis camera, infrared sensors (NWIR and LWIR), and high resolution laser radar (HIRes/LIDAR). In addition to the evaluation of SDIO algorithms and sensors, high resolution imagery will be obtained while the spacecraft is in Earth orbit, lunar obit and during the Geographos flyby. This paper describes the results of a study on the precision guidance, navigation, and intercept strategy for the flyby mission.

  3. GRASPING THE NATURE OF POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS ASTEROIDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perna, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Fornasier, S.; Deshapriya, J. D. P. [LESIA—Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France); Dotto, E.; Ieva, S.; Epifani, E. Mazzotta [INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, I-00040 Monte Porzio Catone (Roma) (Italy); Bernardi, F. [SpaceDyS, via Mario Giuntini 63, I-56023 Cascina (Pisa) (Italy); Luise, F. De [INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo, via Mentore Maggini snd, I-64100 Teramo (Italy); Perozzi, E. [Deimos Space, Strada Buchesti 75-77, Bucharest (Romania); Rossi, A. [IFAC—CNR, via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze) (Italy); Micheli, M., E-mail: davide.perna@obspm.fr [ESA—NEOCC, ESRIN, via Galileo Galilei 64, I-00044 Frascati (Rome) (Italy)

    2016-01-15

    Through their delivery of water and organics, near-Earth objects (NEOs) played an important role in the emergence of life on our planet.  However, they also pose a hazard to the Earth, as asteroid impacts could significantly affect our civilization. Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) are those that, in principle, could possibly impact the Earth within the next century, producing major damage. About 1600 PHAs are currently known, from an estimated population of 4700 ± 1450. However, a comprehensive characterization of the PHA physical properties is still missing. Here we present spectroscopic observations of 14 PHAs, which we have used to derive their taxonomy, meteorite analogs, and mineralogy. Combining our results with the literature, we investigated how PHAs are distributed as a function of their dynamical and physical properties. In general, the “carbonaceous” PHAs seem to be particularly threatening, because of their high porosity (limiting the effectiveness of the main deflection techniques that could be used in space) and low inclination and minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) with the Earth (favoring more frequent close approaches). V-type PHAs also present low MOID values, which can produce frequent close approaches (as confirmed by the recent discovery of a limited space weathering on their surfaces). We also identified those specific objects that deserve particular attention because of their extreme rotational properties, internal strength, or possible cometary nature. For PHAs and NEOs in general, we identified a possible anti-correlation between the elongation and the rotational period, in the range of P{sub rot} ≈ 5–80 hr. This would be compatible with the behavior of gravity-dominated aggregates in rotational equilibrium. For periods ≳80–90 hr, such a trend stops, possibly under the influence of the YORP effect and collisions. However, the statistics is very low, and further observational and theoretical work is required

  4. Developing methods of determining unknown roational periods of asteroids via observations of (3122) Florence by the Harvard Observing Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Natasha Sarah; Bieryla, Allyson; Gomez, Sebastian; Huang, Jane; Lewis, John; Todd, Zoe; Alam, Munazza; Carmichael, Theron; Garrison, Lehman H.; Weaver, Ian; Chen, Chen; McGruder, Chima; Medina, Amber

    2018-06-01

    (3122) Florence is an asteroid that made the headlines with its close approach to Earth in late 2017. It is one of the biggest and brightest near-Earth asteroids that has been discovered and it has recently been found to have two moons. By observing the light reflected off an asteroid, we can measure its brightness over time and determine the rotational period of the asteroid. An asteroid’s rotational period can reveal information about its physical characteristics, such as its shape, and further our knowledge about processes that contribute to asteroid rotation in general. The Harvard Observing Project (HOP) is an initiative that allows undergraduates to learn about observational astronomy and take part in formal data collection and analysis. Over the course of the fall 2017 semester, HOP obtained four multi-hour, continuous observations in the R-band of the asteroid using the Harvard University 16-inch Clay Telescope. In our analysis, we reduced the images and performed astrometry and photometry on the data. The asteroid’s light curve was produced using AstroImageJ and we used the Python package gatspy to determine its rotational period. We found the rotational period to be 2.22 hours +/- 0.25, which agrees with the known rotational period of 2.3580 hours +/- 0.0002. This spring 2018 semester we are applying our methods to data collected on asteroids with unknown rotational periods and plan to present our findings.

  5. Introduction to the Asteroids II data base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tedesco, E.F.

    1989-01-01

    The Asteroids II data base presented is a compilation of asteroid data. Included are asteroid names and discovery circumstances, proper elements and family identifications, asteroid lightcurve parameters, asteroid pole determinations, taxonomic classes, absolute magnitudes and slope parameters, UBV color indices, and albedos and diameters from the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey

  6. 2015 Barcelona Asteroid Day

    CERN Document Server

    Gritsevich, Maria; Palme, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    This volume is a compilation of the research presented at the International Asteroid Day workshop which was celebrated at Barcelona on June 30th, 2015. The proceedings discuss the beginning of a new era in the study and exploration of the solar system’s minor bodies. International Asteroid Day commemorates the Tunguska event of June 30th, 1908. The workshop’s goal was to promote the importance of dealing proactively with impact hazards from space. Multidisciplinary experts contributed to this discussion by describing the nature of comets and asteroids along with their offspring, meteoroids. New missions to return material samples of asteroids back to Earth such as Osiris-REx and Hayabusa 2, as well as projects like AIM and DART which will test impact deflection techniques for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids encounters were also covered. The proceedings include both an outreach level to popularize impact hazards and a scientific character which covers the latest knowledge on these topics, as well as offeri...

  7. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H

    2016-01-01

    Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists ...

  8. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: The Boulder Capture Option

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar-electric-propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (approximately 4-10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (approximately 1-5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (approximately 100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. This option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well-characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. The boulder option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting boulder be returned for subsequent sampling. This boulder option for NASA's ARM can leverage knowledge of previously characterized NEAs from prior robotic missions, which provides more

  9. Asteroid Impacts and Modern Civilization: Can We Prevent a Catastrophe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, A. W.; Boslough, M.; Chapman, C. R.; Drube, L.; Michel, P.; Harris, A. W.

    We are now approaching the level of technical expertise necessary to deflect a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) capable of destroying a large urban area, if not a small country. The current level of activity in the field, including search programs, physical characterization, and international initiatives to assess mitigation strategies, is unprecedented. However, we have only just started to explore the relevant properties of the small end of the NEA population (diameter threat to life and property. Political awareness and international response efforts are still at a very primitive stage. For a global guarantee of protection, advances in scientific and technical competence must be matched by improvements in international coordination, as well as preparedness at the political level.

  10. M-class Asteroids: Soft Rock, Heavy Metal, Or None Of That Jazz?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2008-09-01

    M-class asteroids in the Tholen taxonomy have featureless spectra in the 0.3-1.0 micrometer region and moderate albedos. Taxonomic studies using reflectance spectra have long associated M-class asteroids with iron meteorites. Dozens of parent bodies are required by cosmochemists in order to generate the diversity seen in the iron meteorite population, representing both the disrupted cores of differentiated parent bodies as well as objects with more exotic histories. Unfortunately, the featureless spectrum of iron-nickel metal in the visible and near-IR can be matched by other mineralogies unrelated to iron meteorites. For instance, the primitive enstatite chondrites are also matches to M asteroids (Burbine et al. 2002). The past 20 years have led to increased recognition that the M asteroid class includes a diverse set of objects. Polarimetric, spectral, and radar observations in the 1980s and 1990s showed that at least some M asteroids were not iron-meteorite-like. In particular, observations by Jones et al. (1990), Rivkin et al. (1995), and Rivkin et al. (2000) found several M asteroids with absorptions near 3 micrometers, interpreted as hydrated minerals. This led to the proposal to separate those asteroids with bands into a new W class. Since 2000, new observations have been made by various workers in the near and mid-IR from the ground and with Spitzer. An increase in the sample size of radar-detected asteroids has provided additional insight into M and W asteroids. New meteorite classes have been delimited and characterized, some of which are of direct relevance to the M asteroid population. Discoveries of binary M-class asteroids have allowed densities to be measured Finally, the Rosetta spacecraft will fly by the M (W) asteroid 21 Lutetia in 2010. I will discuss the M/W asteroid class in the context of all of these new data. Thanks to the NASA PAST and PGG programs.

  11. The stability of some asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicente, R.O.

    1983-01-01

    The utilization of two different stability criteria, namely, Hill's modified stability criterium and the method of surface of section, has been employed for asteroid orbits. The idea is to compute different criteria of stability for the same asteroids in order to compare the results and see the practical interest of the computations for researches about evolutionary trends of individual asteroids, groups and families of asteroids. (Auth.)

  12. Geography of the asteroid belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, B. H.

    1978-01-01

    The CSM classification serves as the starting point on the geography of the asteroid belt. Raw data on asteroid types are corrected for observational biases (against dark objects, for instance) to derive the distribution of types throughout the belt. Recent work on family members indicates that dynamical families have a true physical relationship, presumably indicating common origin in the breakup of a parent asteroid.

  13. Utilization of an H-reversal trajectory of a solar sail for asteroid deflection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong Shengping; Li Junfeng; Zeng Xiangyuan

    2011-01-01

    Near Earth Asteroids have a possibility of impacting the Earth and always represent a threat. This paper proposes a way of changing the orbit of the asteroid to avoid an impact. A solar sail evolving in an H-reversal trajectory is utilized for asteroid deflection. Firstly, the dynamics of the solar sail and the characteristics of the H-reversal trajectory are analyzed. Then, the attitude of the solar sail is optimized to guide the sail to impact the target asteroid along an H-reversal trajectory. The impact velocity depends on two important parameters: the minimum solar distance along the trajectory and lightness number of the solar sail. A larger lightness number and a smaller solar distance lead to a higher impact velocity. Finally, the deflection capability of a solar sail impacting the asteroid along the H-reversal trajectory is discussed. The results show that a 10 kg solar sail with a lead-time of one year can move Apophis out of a 600-m keyhole area in 2029 to eliminate the possibility of its resonant return in 2036. (editor's recommendation)

  14. Predictions of asteroid hazard to the Earth for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Nikita; Sokolov, Leonid; Polyakhova, Elena; Oskina, Kristina

    2018-05-01

    Early detection and investigation of possible collisions and close approaches of asteroids with the Earth are necessary to exept the asteroid-comet hazard. The difficulty of prediction of close approaches and collisions associated with resonant returns after encounters with the Earth due to loss of precision in these encounters. The main research object is asteroid Apophis (99942), for which we found many possible orbits of impacts associated with resonant returns. It is shown that the early orbit change of Apophis allows to avoid main impacts, associated with resonant returns. Such a change of the orbit, in principle, is feasible. We also study the possible impacts with the Ground asteroid 2015 RN35. We present 21 possible collisions in this century, including 7 collisions with large gaps presented in NASA website. The results of observations by the telescope ZA-320M at Pulkovo Obser-vatory of the three near-Earth asteroids, namely, 7822, 20826, 68216, two of which 7822 and 68216 are potentially hazardous, are presented.

  15. OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D. S.; Balram-Knutson, S. S.; Beshore, E.; Boynton, W. V.; Drouet d'Aubigny, C.; DellaGiustina, D. N.; Enos, H. L.; Golish, D. R.; Hergenrother, C. W.; Howell, E. S.; Bennett, C. A.; Morton, E. T.; Nolan, M. C.; Rizk, B.; Roper, H. L.; Bartels, A. E.; Bos, B. J.; Dworkin, J. P.; Highsmith, D. E.; Lorenz, D. A.; Lim, L. F.; Mink, R.; Moreau, M. C.; Nuth, J. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Simon, A. A.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Bryan, B. H.; Ballouz, R.; Barnouin, O. S.; Binzel, R. P.; Bottke, W. F.; Hamilton, V. E.; Walsh, K. J.; Chesley, S. R.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. E.; Connolly, H. C.; Crombie, M. K.; Daly, M. G.; Emery, J. P.; McCoy, T. J.; McMahon, J. W.; Scheeres, D. J.; Messenger, S.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Righter, K.; Sandford, S. A.

    2017-10-01

    In May of 2011, NASA selected the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security- Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission as the third mission in the New Frontiers program. The other two New Frontiers missions are New Horizons, which explored Pluto during a flyby in July 2015 and is on its way for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019, and Juno, an orbiting mission that is studying the origin, evolution, and internal structure of Jupiter. The spacecraft departed for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 evolved expendable launch vehicle at 7:05 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2016, on a seven-year journey to return samples from Bennu. The spacecraft is on an outbound-cruise trajectory that will result in a rendezvous with Bennu in November 2018. The science instruments on the spacecraft will survey Bennu to measure its physical, geological, and chemical properties, and the team will use these data to select a site on the surface to collect at least 60 g of asteroid regolith. The team will also analyze the remote-sensing data to perform a detailed study of the sample site for context, assess Bennu's resource potential, refine estimates of its impact probability with Earth, and provide ground-truth data for the extensive astronomical data set collected on this asteroid. The spacecraft will leave Bennu in 2021 and return the sample to the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) on September 24, 2023.

  16. The quiet evening auroral arc and the structure of the growth phase near-Earth plasma sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coroniti, F. V.; Pritchett, P. L.

    2014-03-01

    The plasma pressure and current configuration of the near-Earth plasma sheet that creates and sustains the quiet evening auroral arc during the growth phase of magnetospheric substorms is investigated. We propose that the quiet evening arc (QEA) connects to the thin near-Earth current sheet, which forms during the development of the growth phase enhancement of convection. The current sheet's large polarization electric fields are shielded from the ionosphere by an Inverted-V parallel potential drop, thereby producing the electron precipitation responsible for the arc's luminosity. The QEA is located in the plasma sheet region of maximal radial pressure gradient and, in the east-west direction, follows the vanishing of the approximately dawn-dusk-directed gradient or fold in the plasma pressure. In the evening sector, the boundary between the Region1 and Region 2 current systems occurs where the pressure maximizes (approximately radial gradient of the pressure vanishes) and where the approximately radial gradient of the magnetic flux tube volume also vanishes in an inflection region. The proposed intricate balance of plasma sheet pressure and currents may well be very sensitive to disruption by the arrival of equatorward traveling auroral streamers and their associated earthward traveling dipolarization fronts.

  17. An LDEF 2 dust instrument for discrimination between orbital debris and natural particles in near-Earth space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuzzolino, A. J.; Simpson, J. A.; Mckibben, R. B.; Voss, H. D.; Gursky, H.

    1993-01-01

    The characteristics of a space dust instrument which would be ideally suited to carry out near-Earth dust measurements on a possible Long Duraction Exposure Facility reflight mission (LDEF 2) is discussed. As a model for the trajectory portion of the instrument proposed for LDEF 2, the characteristics of a SPAce DUSt instrument (SPADUS) currently under development for flight on the USA ARGOS mission to measure the flux, mass, velocity, and trajectory of near-Earth dust is summarized. Since natural (cosmic) dust and man-made dust particles (orbital debris) have different velocity and trajectory distributions, they are distinguished by means of the SPADUS velocity/trajectory information. The SPADUS measurements will cover the dust mass range approximately 5 x 10(exp -12) g (2 microns diameter) to approximately 1 x 10(exp -5) g (200 microns diameter), with an expected mean error in particle trajectory of approximately 7 deg (isotropic flux). Arrays of capture cell devices positioned behind the trajectory instrumentation would provide for Earth-based chemical and isotopic analysis of captured dust. The SPADUS measurement principles, characteristics, its role in the ARGOS mission, and its application to an LDEF 2 mission are summarized.

  18. Relative Timing of Substorm-Associated Processes in the Near-Earth Magnetotail and Development of Auroral Onset Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Y.; Ieda, A.; Machida, S.; Hiraki, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; McFadden, J. P.; Auster, H. U.; Mende, S. B.; Donovan, E.; Larson, D. E.

    2014-12-01

    We have studied the relative timing of the processes in the near-Earth magnetotail and development of auroral onset arc at the beginning of the expansion phase, based on substorm events observed by the THEMIS spacecraft and ground-based all-sky imagers. The THEMIS all-sky imagers can observe auroras over a wide area with temporal and spacial resolutions higher than spacecraft-borne cameras. This enables us to investigate the timing of auroral development in more detail than before. A few min after the appearance and intensification of an auroral onset arc, it begins to form wave-like structure. Then auroral poleward expansion begins another few min later. THEMIS magnetotail observations clearly show that magnetic reconnection is initiated at X~-20 Re at least 1-2 min before the intensification of auroral onset arc. Then low-frequency waves are excited in the plasma sheet at X~-10 Re 2 min before dipolarization, which is simultaneous with the formation of auroral wave-like structure. Dipolarization begins at the same time as the auroral poleward expansion. These results suggest that near-Earth magnetic reconnection plays some role in the development of dipolarization and auroral onset arc.

  19. Interacting binaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggleton, P.P.; Pringle, J.E.

    1985-01-01

    This volume contains 15 review articles in the field of binary stars. The subjects reviewed span considerably, from the shortest period of interacting binaries to the longest, symbiotic stars. Also included are articles on Algols, X-ray binaries and Wolf-Rayet stars (single and binary). Contents: Preface. List of Participants. Activity of Contact Binary Systems. Wolf-Rayet Stars and Binarity. Symbiotic Stars. Massive X-ray Binaries. Stars that go Hump in the Night: The SU UMa Stars. Interacting Binaries - Summing Up

  20. LISA and asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinet, Jean-Yves

    2006-01-01

    LISA is a joint ESA-NASA mission aiming for cosmic gravitational wave detection and analysis. We address here the question of a special kind of signal caused by asteroid encounters. We present a short theory of the detection of such signals

  1. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  2. Asteroid Kinetic Impactor Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesley, Steven

    2015-08-01

    Asteroid impact missions can be carried out as a relatively low-cost add-ons to most asteroid rendezvous missions and such impact experiments have tremendous potential, both scientifically and in the arena of planetary defense.The science returns from an impactor demonstration begin with the documentation of the global effects of the impact, such as changes in orbit and rotation state, the creation and dissipation of an ejecta plume and debris disk, and morphological changes across the body due to the transmission of seismic waves, which might induce landslides and toppling of boulders, etc. At a local level, an inspection of the impact crater and ejecta blanket reveals critical material strength information, as well as spectral differences between the surface and subsurface material.From the planetary defense perspective, an impact demonstration will prove humankind’s capacity to alter the orbit of a potentially threatening asteroid. This technological leap comes in two parts. First, terminal guidance systems that can deliver an impactor with small errors relative to the ~100-200 meter size of a likely impactor have yet to be demonstrated in a deep space environment. Second, the response of an asteroid to such an impact is only understood theoretically due to the potentially significant dependence on the momentum carried by escaping ejecta, which would tend to enhance the deflection by tens of percent and perhaps as much as a factor of a few. A lack of validated understanding of momentum enhancement is a significant obstacle in properly sizing a real-world impactor deflection mission.This presentation will describe the drivers for asteroid impact demonstrations and cover the range of such concepts, starting with ESA’s pioneering Don Quijote mission concept and leading to a brief description of concepts under study at the present time, including the OSIRIS-REx/ISIS, BASiX/KIX and AIM/DART (AIDA) concepts.

  3. Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) I: An On-orbit Centrifuge Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lightholder, Jack; Thoesen, Andrew; Adamson, Eric; Jakubowski, Jeremy; Nallapu, Ravi; Smallwood, Sarah; Raura, Laksh; Klesh, Andrew; Asphaug, Erik; Thangavelautham, Jekan

    2017-04-01

    Exploration of asteroids, comets and small moons (small bodies) can answer fundamental questions relating to the formation of the solar system, the availability of resources, and the nature of impact hazards. Near-earth asteroids and the small moons of Mars are potential targets of human exploration. But as illustrated by recent missions, small body surface exploration remains challenging, expensive, and fraught with risk. Despite their small size, they are among the most extreme planetary environments, with low and irregular gravity, loosely bound regolith, extreme temperature variation, and the presence of electrically charged dust. Here we describe the Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT-I), an on-orbit, 3U CubeSat centrifuge using a sandwich-sized bed of crushed meteorite fragments to replicate asteroid surface conditions. Demonstration of this CubeSat will provide a low-cost pathway to physical asteroid model validation, shed light on the origin and geophysics of asteroids, and constrain the design of future landers, rovers, resource extractors, and human missions. AOSAT-I will conduct scientific experiments within its payload chamber while operating in two distinct modes: (1) as a nonrotating microgravity laboratory to investigate primary accretion, and (2) as a rotating centrifuge producing artificial milligravity to simulate surface conditions on asteroids, comets and small moons. AOSAT-I takes advantage of low-cost, off-the-shelf components, modular design, and the rapid assembly and instrumentation of the CubeSat standard, to answer fundamental questions in planetary science and reduce cost and risk of future exploration.

  4. Looking a gift horse in the mouth: Evaluation of wide-field asteroid photometric surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alan W.; Pravec, Petr; Warner, Brian D.

    2012-09-01

    It has recently become possible to do a photometric survey of many asteroids at once, rather than observing single asteroids one (or occasionally a couple) at a time. We evaluate two such surveys. Dermawan et al. (Dermawan et al. [2011]. Publ. Astron. Soc. Jpn. 63, S555-S576) observed one night on the Subaru 8.2 m telescope, and Masiero et al. (Masiero, J., Jedicke, R., Durech, J., Gwen, S., Denneau, L., Larsen, J. [2009]. Icarus 204, 145-171) observed six nights over 2 weeks with the 3.6 m CFHT. Dermawan claimed 83 rotation periods from 127 detected asteroids; Masiero et al. claimed 218 rotation periods from 828 detections. Both teams claim a number of super-fast rotators (P < 2.2 h) among main belt asteroids larger than 250 m diameter, some up to several km in diameter. This would imply that the spin rate distribution of main belt asteroids differs from like-sized NEAs, that there are larger super-fast rotators (monolithic asteroids) in the main belt than among NEAs. Here we evaluate these survey results, applying the same criteria for reliability of results that we apply to all results listed in our Lightcurve Database (Warner, B.D., Harris, A.W., Pravec, P. [2009a]. Icarus 202, 134-146). In doing so, we assigned reliability estimates judged sufficient for inclusion in statistical studies for only 27 out of 83 (33%) periods claimed by Dermawan, and only 87 out of 218 (40%) periods reported by Masiero et al.; none of the super-fast rotators larger than about 250 m diameter claimed by either survey received a reliability rating judged sufficient for analysis. We find no reliable basis for the claim of different rotation properties between main belt and near-Earth asteroids. Our analysis presents a cautionary message for future surveys.

  5. Spitzer IRS (8-30 micron) Spectra of Basaltic Asteroids 1459 Magnya and 956 Elisa: Mineralogy and Thermal Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Lucy F.; Emery, J. P.; Moskovitz, N. A.

    2009-01-01

    We report preliminary results from Spitzer IRS (Infrared Spectrograph) spectroscopy of 956 Elisa, 1459 Magnya, and other small basaltic asteroids with the Spitzer IRS. Program targets include members of the dynamical family of the unique large differentiated asteroid 4 Vesta ("Vestoids"), several outer-main-belt basaltic asteroids whose orbits exclude them from originating on 4 Vesta, and the basaltic near-Earth asteroid 4055 Magellan. The preliminary thermal model (STM) fit to the 5--35 micron spectrum of 956 Elisa gives a radius of 5.4 +/- 0.3 km and a subsolar- point temperature of 282.2 +/- 0.5 K. This temperature corresponds to eta approximately equals 1.06 +/- 0.02, which is substantially higher than the eta approximately equals 0.756 characteristic of large main-belt asteroids. Unlike 4 Vesta and other large asteroids, therefore, 956 Elisa has significant thermal inertia in its surface layer. The wavelength of the Christiansen feature (emissivity maximum near 9 micron), the positions and shapes of the narrow maxima (10 micron, 11 micron) within the broad 9--14 micron silicate band, and the 19--20 micron minimum are consistent with features found in the laboratory spectra of diogenites and of low-Ca pyroxenes of similar composition (Wo<5, En50-En75).

  6. Disaggregation of small, cohesive rubble pile asteroids due to YORP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.

    2018-04-01

    The implication of small amounts of cohesion within relatively small rubble pile asteroids is investigated with regard to their evolution under the persistent presence of the YORP effect. We find that below a characteristic size, which is a function of cohesive strength, density and other properties, rubble pile asteroids can enter a "disaggregation phase" in which they are subject to repeated fissions after which the formation of a stabilizing binary system is not possible. Once this threshold is passed rubble pile asteroids may be disaggregated into their constituent components within a finite time span. These constituent components will have their own spin limits - albeit potentially at a much higher spin rate due to the greater strength of a monolithic body. The implications of this prediction are discussed and include modification of size distributions, prevalence of monolithic bodies among meteoroids and the lifetime of small rubble pile bodies in the solar system. The theory is then used to place constraints on the strength of binary asteroids characterized as a function of their type.

  7. The problem of space nuclear power sources collisions with artificial space objects in near-earth orbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gafarov, A.A.

    1993-01-01

    Practically all space objects with onboard nuclear power sources stay in earth satellite orbits with an orbital lifetime long enough to reduce their radioactivity to levels presenting no danger for the Earth population. One of the reasons for orbit lifetime reduction can be collisions with other space objects in near-earth orbits. The possible consequence of collisions can be partial, or even complete, destruction of the spacecraft with an onboard nuclear power source; as well as delivery of additional impulse both to the spacecraft and its fragments. It is shown that collisions in orbit do not cause increase of radiation hazard for the Earth population if there is aerodynamic breakup of nuclear power sources into fragments of safe sizes during atmospheric reentry

  8. Large-scale, near-Earth, magnetic fields from external sources and the corresponding induced internal field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langel, R. A.; Estes, R. H.

    1983-01-01

    Data from MAGSAT analyzed as a function of the Dst index to determine the first degree/order spherical harmonic description of the near-Earth external field and its corresponding induced field. The analysis was done separately for data from dawn and dusk. The MAGSAT data was compared with POGO data. A local time variation of the external field persists even during very quiet magnetic conditions; both a diurnal and 8-hour period are present. A crude estimate of Sq current in the 45 deg geomagnetic latitude range is obtained for 1966 to 1970. The current strength, located in the ionosphere and induced in the Earth, is typical of earlier determinations from surface data, although its maximum is displaced in local time from previous results.

  9. ASTROMETRIC MASSES OF 26 ASTEROIDS AND OBSERVATIONS ON ASTEROID POROSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.; Matson, Robert D.

    2011-01-01

    As an application of our recent observational error model, we present the astrometric masses of 26 main-belt asteroids. We also present an integrated ephemeris of 300 large asteroids, which was used in the mass determination algorithm to model significant perturbations from the rest of the main belt. After combining our mass estimates with those of other authors, we study the bulk porosities of over 50 main-belt asteroids and observe that asteroids as large as 300 km in diameter may be loose aggregates. This finding may place specific constraints on models of main-belt collisional evolution. Additionally, we observe that C-group asteroids tend to have significantly higher macroporosity than S-group asteroids.

  10. Superposed epoch study of ICME sub-structures near Earth and their effects on Galactic cosmic rays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masías-Meza, J. J.; Dasso, S.; Démoulin, P.; Rodriguez, L.; Janvier, M.

    2016-08-01

    Context. Interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) are the interplanetary manifestations of solar eruptions. The overtaken solar wind forms a sheath of compressed plasma at the front of ICMEs. Magnetic clouds (MCs) are a subset of ICMEs with specific properties (e.g. the presence of a flux rope). When ICMEs pass near Earth, ground observations indicate that the flux of Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) decreases. Aims: The main aims of this paper are to find common plasma and magnetic properties of different ICME sub-structures and which ICME properties affect the flux of GCRs near Earth. Methods: We used a superposed epoch method applied to a large set of ICMEs observed in situ by the spacecraft ACE, between 1998 and 2006. We also applied a superposed epoch analysis on GCRs time series observed with the McMurdo neutron monitors. Results: We find that slow MCs at 1 AU have on average more massive sheaths. We conclude that this is because they are more effectively slowed down by drag during their travel from the Sun. Slow MCs also have a more symmetric magnetic field and sheaths expanding similarly as their following MC, while in contrast, fast MCs have an asymmetric magnetic profile and a sheath in compression. In all types of MCs, we find that the proton density and the temperature and the magnetic fluctuations can diffuse within the front of the MC due to 3D reconnection. Finally, we derive a quantitative model that describes the decrease in cosmic rays as a function of the amount of magnetic fluctuations and field strength. Conclusions: The obtained typical profiles of sheath, MC and GCR properties corresponding to slow, middle, and fast ICMEs, can be used for forecasting or modelling these events, and to better understand the transport of energetic particles in ICMEs. They are also useful for improving future operative space weather activities.

  11. Three-Dimensional Simulations of Oblique Asteroid Impacts into Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisler, G. R.; Ferguson, J. M.; Heberling, T.; Plesko, C. S.; Weaver, R.

    2016-12-01

    Waves generated by impacts into oceans may represent the most significant danger from near-earth asteroids and comets. For impacts near populated shores, the crown splash and subsequent waves, accompanied by sediment lofting and high winds, could be more damaging than storm surges from the strongest hurricanes. For asteroids less than 500 m in diameter that impact into deep water far from shores, the waves produced will be detectable over large distances, but probably not significantly dangerous. We present new three-dimensional simulations of oblique impacts into deep water, with trajectory angles ranging from 20 degrees to 60 degrees (where 90 degrees is vertical). These simulations are performed with the Los Alamos Rage hydrocode, and include atmospheric effects including ablation and airbursts. These oblique impact simulations are specifically performed in order to help determine whether there are additional dangers from the obliquity of impact not covered by previous two-dimensional studies. Water surface elevation profiles, surface pressures, and depth-averaged mass fluxes within the water are prepared for use in propagation studies.

  12. THE ORIGIN OF ASTEROID 101955 (1999 RQ36)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campins, Humberto; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; De Leon, Julia; Licandro, Javier; Lauretta, Dante

    2010-01-01

    Near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 101955 (1999 RQ 36 ; henceforth RQ36) is especially accessible to spacecraft and is the primary target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission; it is also a potentially hazardous asteroid. We combine dynamical and spectral information to identify the most likely main-belt origin of RQ36 and we conclude that it is the Polana family, located at a semimajor axis of about 2.42 AU. We also conclude that the Polana family may be the most important inner-belt source of low-albedo NEAs. These conclusions are based on the following results. (1) Dynamical evidence strongly favors an inner-belt, low-inclination (2.15 AU 0 ) origin, suggesting the ν 6 resonance as the preferred (95% probability) delivery route. (2) This region is dominated by the Nysa and Polana families. (3) The Polana family is characterized by low albedos and B-class spectra or colors, the same albedo and spectral class as RQ36. (4) The Sloan Digital Sky Survey colors show that the Polana family is the branch of the Nysa-Polana complex that extends toward the ν 6 resonance; furthermore, the Polana family has delivered objects of the size of RQ36 and larger into the ν 6 resonance. (5) A quantitative comparison of visible and near-infrared spectra does not yield a unique match for RQ36; however, it is consistent with a compositional link between RQ36 and the Polana family.

  13. Earth's Trojan asteroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Wiegert, Paul; Veillet, Christian

    2011-07-27

    It was realized in 1772 that small bodies can stably share the same orbit as a planet if they remain near 'triangular points' 60° ahead of or behind it in the orbit. Such 'Trojan asteroids' have been found co-orbiting with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune. They have not hitherto been found associated with Earth, where the viewing geometry poses difficulties for their detection, although other kinds of co-orbital asteroid (horseshoe orbiters and quasi-satellites) have been observed. Here we report an archival search of infrared data for possible Earth Trojans, producing the candidate 2010 TK(7). We subsequently made optical observations which established that 2010 TK(7) is a Trojan companion of Earth, librating around the leading Lagrange triangular point, L(4). Its orbit is stable over at least ten thousand years.

  14. Silicates in Alien Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

  15. Speckle interferometry of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drummond, J.

    1988-01-01

    By studying the image two-dimensional power spectra or autocorrelations projected by an asteroid as it rotates, it is possible to locate its rotational pole and derive its three axes dimensions through speckle interferometry under certain assumptions of uniform, geometric scattering, and triaxial ellipsoid shape. However, in cases where images can be reconstructed, the need for making the assumptions is obviated. Furthermore, the ultimate goal for speckle interferometry of image reconstruction will lead to mapping albedo features (if they exist) as impact areas or geological units. The first glimpses of the surface of an asteroid were obtained from images of 4 Vesta reconstructed from speckle interferometric observations. These images reveal that Vesta is quite Moon-like in having large hemispheric-scale albedo features. All of its lightcurves can be produced from a simple model developed from the images. Although undoubtedly more intricate than the model, Vesta's lightcurves can be matched by a model with three dark and four bright spots. The dark areas so dominate one hemisphere that a lightcurve minimum occurs when the maximum cross-section area is visible. The triaxial ellipsoid shape derived for Vesta is not consistent with the notion that the asteroid has an equilibrium shape in spite of its having apparently been differentiated

  16. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  17. An overview of the asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binzel, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    An introduction and overview of the field of asteroid science is presented, highlighting the accomplishments of the 1980s. The development and application of many observational techniques and data from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite have greatly increased our knowledge of asteroid physical properties. New scenarios for understanding the chemical diversity and dynamical structure of asteroids have emerged. New insights have been gained toward understanding their origin and interrelations with meteorites and comets. Suggestions and speculations are offered on future research directions

  18. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for OSIRIS-REx: identifying regional elemental enrichment on asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Branden; Grindlay, Jonathan; Hong, Jaesub; Binzel, Richard P.; Masterson, Rebecca; Inamdar, Niraj K.; Chodas, Mark; Smith, Matthew W.; Bautz, Marshall W.; Kissel, Steven E.; Villasenor, Joel; Oprescu, Miruna; Induni, Nicholas

    2013-09-01

    The OSIRIS-REx Mission was selected under the NASA New Frontiers program and is scheduled for launch in September of 2016 for a rendezvous with, and collection of a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu in 2019. 101955 Bennu (previously 1999 RQ36) is an Apollo (near-Earth) asteroid originally discovered by the LINEAR project in 1999 which has since been classified as a potentially hazardous near-Earth object. The REgolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) was proposed jointly by MIT and Harvard and was subsequently accepted as a student led instrument for the determination of the elemental composition of the asteroid's surface as well as the surface distribution of select elements through solar induced X-ray fluorescence. REXIS consists of a detector plane that contains 4 X-ray CCDs integrated into a wide field coded aperture telescope with a focal length of 20 em for the detection of regions with enhanced abundance in key elements at 50 m scales. Elemental surface distributions of approximately 50-200 m scales can be detected using the instrument as a simple collimator. An overview of the observation strategy of the REXIS instrument and expected performance are presented here.

  19. The first retrograde Trojan asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Veillet, Christian

    2018-04-01

    There are about six thousand asteroids which share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. Called the 'Trojan asteroids', they co-exist easily with this giant planet because they travel in the same direction as it ('direct' or 'prograde' motion), and remain roughly 60 degrees ahead of or behind it in its orbit. Newly discovered asteroid 2015 BZ509 is on a retrograde orbit, but is nonetheless in a state dynamically analogous to that of the prograde Trojans. The discovery circumstances and the nature of the motion of this curious asteroid -the first of its kind- will be outlined.

  20. Formulating a problem for functions of the effect in models of atmospheric pollution with parametric consideration of diffusion in the near earth layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganev, K; Yordanov, D

    1983-01-01

    The formulation of a diffusion problem for numerical models, in which the near earth layer of the atmosphere (PSA) is considered parametrically relative to the zones of pollution (the protected zones) which are also located in the near earth layer of atmosphere, is examined. In modeling atmospheric pollution, the semiempirical equation of turublent diffusion is the starting point. The results are cited of numerical calculations of the functions of the effect for the city of Sofia (the case of an even relief and the disposition of the protected zone totally within the region for which the problem is being solved). The isolines of the integral function of the effect relative to the near earth layer of the atmosphere above the city of Sofia are cited for different meteorological conditions.

  1. A Delta-V map of the known Main Belt Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Anthony; McDowell, Jonathan C.; Elvis, Martin

    2018-05-01

    With the lowered costs of rocket technology and the commercialization of the space industry, asteroid mining is becoming both feasible and potentially profitable. Although the first targets for mining will be the most accessible near Earth objects (NEOs), the Main Belt contains 106 times more material by mass. The large scale expansion of this new asteroid mining industry is contingent on being able to rendezvous with Main Belt asteroids (MBAs), and so on the velocity change required of mining spacecraft (delta-v). This paper develops two different flight burn schemes, both starting from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and ending with a successful MBA rendezvous. These methods are then applied to the ∼700,000 asteroids in the Minor Planet Center (MPC) database with well-determined orbits to find low delta-v mining targets among the MBAs. There are 3986 potential MBA targets with a delta-v < 8 km s-1 , but the distribution is steep and reduces to just 4 with delta-v < 7 km s-1. The two burn methods are compared and the orbital parameters of low delta-v MBAs are explored.

  2. Genetic Algorithm-Based Optimization to Match Asteroid Energy Deposition Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarano, Ana; Mathias, Donovan; Wheeler, Lorien; Close, Sigrid

    2018-01-01

    An asteroid entering Earth's atmosphere deposits energy along its path due to thermal ablation and dissipative forces that can be measured by ground-based and spaceborne instruments. Inference of pre-entry asteroid properties and characterization of the atmospheric breakup is facilitated by using an analytic fragment-cloud model (FCM) in conjunction with a Genetic Algorithm (GA). This optimization technique is used to inversely solve for the asteroid's entry properties, such as diameter, density, strength, velocity, entry angle, and strength scaling, from simulations using FCM. The previous parameters' fitness evaluation involves minimizing error to ascertain the best match between the physics-based calculated energy deposition and the observed meteors. This steady-state GA provided sets of solutions agreeing with literature, such as the meteor from Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013 and Tagish Lake, Canada in 2000, which were used as case studies in order to validate the optimization routine. The assisted exploration and exploitation of this multi-dimensional search space enables inference and uncertainty analysis that can inform studies of near-Earth asteroids and consequently improve risk assessment.

  3. Small D-type asteroids in the NEO population: new targets for space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Perna, D.; Popescu, M.; Fornasier, S.; Doressoundiram, A.; Lantz, C.; Merlin, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Dotto, E.; Kanuchova, S.

    2018-06-01

    In the framework of the Near Earth Objects (NEOs) observational campaign carried out within the NEOShield-2 project, we identify nine new small D-type asteroids with estimated diameter less than 600 m. The link with meteorites for this class of asteroids is weak and the best fit obtained is with the Tagish Lake meteorite for seven of them. D-type asteroids are believed to contain the most pristine material of the Solar system and could have delivered the pre-biotic material to the Earth. Our results double the known sample of the D-types in the NEO population and triple the candidates of this class for a sample-return mission (at very low ΔV). Our finding increases considerably the number of targets for sample-return mission. A sample-return mission to a D-type asteroid will provide a major progress in understanding the early history of the Solar system and to investigate the origin of life on the Earth.

  4. Asteroid results from the IRAS survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veeder, G.J.; Tedesco, E.F.; Matson, D.L.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports that the IRAS Asteroid and Comet Survey yield a data base of infrared flux densities for 1811 individual asteroids. Albedos and diameters for these have been derived via a standard thermal model. IRAS sampled a large number of small asteroids and detected many dark asteroids in the outer belt. High-albedo asteroids remain rare. Observations of the brighter asteroids at multiple wavelengths shows the expected range of color temperatures through the main belt

  5. Benefits of Power and Propulsion Technology for a Piloted Electric Vehicle to an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Oleson, Steven R.; Pencil, Eric J.; Piszczor, Michael F.; Mason, Lee S.; Bury, Kristen M.; Manzella, David H.; Kerslake, Thomas W.; Hojinicki, Jeffrey S.; Brophy, John P.

    2012-01-01

    NASA s goal for human spaceflight is to expand permanent human presence beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA is identifying potential missions and technologies needed to achieve this goal. Mission options include crewed destinations to LEO and the International Space Station; high Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit; cis-lunar space, lunar orbit, and the surface of the Moon; near-Earth objects; and the moons of Mars, Mars orbit, and the surface of Mars. NASA generated a series of design reference missions to drive out required functions and capabilities for these destinations, focusing first on a piloted mission to a near-Earth asteroid. One conclusion from this exercise was that a solar electric propulsion stage could reduce mission cost by reducing the required number of heavy lift launches and could increase mission reliability by providing a robust architecture for the long-duration crewed mission. Similarly, solar electric vehicles were identified as critical for missions to Mars, including orbiting Mars, landing on its surface, and visiting its moons. This paper describes the parameterized assessment of power and propulsion technologies for a piloted solar electric vehicle to a near-Earth asteroid. The objective of the assessment was to determine technology drivers to advance the state of the art of electric propulsion systems for human exploration. Sensitivity analyses on the performance characteristics of the propulsion and power systems were done to determine potential system-level impacts of improved technology. Starting with a "reasonable vehicle configuration" bounded by an assumed launch date, we introduced technology improvements to determine the system-level benefits (if any) that those technologies might provide. The results of this assessment are discussed and recommendations for future work are described.

  6. Contextual Student Learning through Authentic Asteroid Research Projects using a Robotic Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoette, Vivian L.; Puckett, Andrew W.; Linder, Tyler R.; Heatherly, Sue Ann; Rector, Travis A.; Haislip, Joshua B.; Meredith, Kate; Caughey, Austin L.; Brown, Johnny E.; McCarty, Cameron B.; Whitmore, Kevin T.

    2015-11-01

    Skynet is a worldwide robotic telescope network operated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with active observing sites on 3 continents. The queue-based observation request system is simple enough to be used by middle school students, but powerful enough to supply data for research scientists. The Skynet Junior Scholars program, funded by the NSF, has teamed up with professional astronomers to engage students from middle school to undergraduates in authentic research projects, from target selection through image analysis and publication of results. Asteroid research is a particularly fruitful area for youth collaboration that reinforces STEM education standards and can allow students to make real contributions to scientific knowledge, e.g., orbit refinement through astrometric submissions to the Minor Planet Center. We have created a set of projects for youth to: 1. Image an asteroid, make a movie, and post it to a gallery; 2. Measure the asteroid’s apparent motion using the Afterglow online image processor; and 3. Image asteroids from two or more telescopes simultaneously to demonstrate parallax. The apparent motion and parallax projects allow students to estimate the distance to their asteroid, as if they were the discoverer of a brand new object in the solar system. Older students may take on advanced projects, such as analyzing uncertainties in asteroid orbital parameters; studying impact probabilities of known objects; observing time-sensitive targets such as Near Earth Asteroids; and even discovering brand new objects in the solar system.Images are acquired from among seven Skynet telescopes in North Carolina, California, Wisconsin, Canada, Australia, and Chile, as well as collaborating observatories such as WestRock in Columbus, Georgia; Stone Edge in El Verano, California; and Astronomical Research Institute in Westfield, Illinois.

  7. E-CANES: A Research Network dedicated to Electromagnetic Coupling of the Atmosphere With Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanuise, C.; Blanc, E.; Crosby, N.; Ebert, U.; Mareev, E.; Neubert, T.; Rothkaehl, H.; Santolik, O.; Yair, Y.; Gille, P.

    2008-12-01

    Transient luminous events in the stratosphere and mesosphere, the sprites, elves, blue jets and gigantic jets, are observed above intense thunderstorms in association with particularly intense lightning discharges. Their recent discovery (1989) offers an opportunity to study the fundamental process of the electric discharge under the different conditions of the troposphere (lightning), stratosphere (blue jets) and the mesosphere (sprites) and the coupling between these regions by electric and magnetic fields. It further facilitates studies of the more general questions of thunderstorm effects on the atmosphere and the role of thunderstorms in a changing climate. New space missions will be launched in the coming years to study the various effects of thunderstorms. They will focus on transient luminous events, the generation of relativistic electron beams in discharges, and the perturbation to the atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere of lightning, transient luminous events, water vapour transport and gravity waves. The missions are the French micro-satellite TARANIS, the ESA ASIM payload on board the International Space Station and the Japanese Sprite Sat mission. These highly interdisciplinary missions will result in a wealth of new data, which require knowledge based capacity building to underpin the observations with improved statistical data analysis and theoretical modelling. We are therefore establishing a global framework for research on thunderstorm processes and their effect on the atmosphere, in particular (1) the fundamental process of the electric discharge as manifested in the stratosphere and mesosphere as sprites and jets, (2) the relationship between cosmic rays, lightning discharges, transient luminous events and terrestrial gamma ray flashes, and (3) the environmental impact of the above physical processes, and thunderstorms in general, on the atmosphere and near-Earth space. The first step has been the creation of the European research group

  8. Origin of the asteroid belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetherill, G.W.

    1989-01-01

    Earlier work and concepts relevant to the origin of the asteroid belt are reviewed and considered in the context of the more general question of solar system origin. Several aspects of asteroidal origin by accumulation of smaller bodies have been addressed by new dynamic studies. Numerical and analytical solutions of the dynamical theory of planetesimal accumulation are characterized by a bifurcation into runaway and nonrunaway solutions. The differences in time scales resulting from runaway and nonrunaway growth can be more important than conventional time scale differences determined by heliocentric distances. This introduces new possibilities, e.g., planetary accumulation may be more rapid at the distance of Jupiter than in the asteroid belt, thus permitting Jupiter to control asteroidal growth. Although alternatives must be seriously considered, the most promising approach to asteroidal origin is one in which the initial surface density of the solar nebula varied smoothly between the terrestrial and giant-planet region. In the absence of external perturbations, it is found that runaway growth of excessively large asteroids would then occur on <1 Myr, but fairly modest external perturbations by Jupiter, Saturn or other perturbers, resulting in eccentricities ∼0.01 may quench runaways, truncate asteroidal growth at their present size, and then initiate the necessary loss of asteroidal material by mutual fragmentation

  9. Asteroid electrostatic instrumentation and modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aplin, K L; Bowles, N E; Urbak, E [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Keane, D; Sawyer, E C, E-mail: k.aplin1@physics.ox.ac.uk [RAL Space, R25, Harwell Oxford, Didcot OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-23

    Asteroid surface material is expected to become photoelectrically charged, and is likely to be transported through electrostatic levitation. Understanding any movement of the surface material is relevant to proposed space missions to return samples to Earth for detailed isotopic analysis. Motivated by preparations for the Marco Polo sample return mission, we present electrostatic modelling for a real asteroid, Itokawa, for which detailed shape information is available, and verify that charging effects are likely to be significant at the terminator and at the edges of shadow regions for the Marco Polo baseline asteroid, 1999JU3. We also describe the Asteroid Charge Experiment electric field instrumentation intended for Marco Polo. Finally, we find that the differing asteroid and spacecraft potentials on landing could perturb sample collection for the short landing time of 20min that is currently planned.

  10. Evolution of comets into asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; A'hearn, M.F.; Rickman, H.; Mcfadden, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents observational evidence, together with recent theoretical developments, supporting the hypothesis that at least some asteroids might be extinct or dormant cometary nuclei. The observations include the discovery of a number of apparent asteroids in chaotic Jupiter-crossing orbits; the IRAS discovery of 1983 TB, an asteroid in the same orbit as the Geminid meteor shower; the apparent low activity levels determined for several short-period comet nuclei including Comet Halley; and observations of possible cometary activity in some earth-crossing asteroids. Theoretical developments include explorations of dynamical mechanisms capable of delivering main-belt asteroids into earth-crossing orbits, and an understanding of possible processes which may affect comets during their long residence in the Oort cloud and lead to the formation of nonvolatile crusts before and after they enter the planetary system. 143 refs

  11. Correlation of near-Earth proton enhancements >100 MeV with parameters of solar microwave bursts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grechnev, Victor; Kiselev, Valentin; Meshalkina, Nataliya; Chertok, Ilya

    2017-09-01

    We analyze the relations between various combinations of peak fluxes and fluences of solar microwave bursts at 35 GHz recorded with the Nobeyama Radio Polarimeters during 1990–2015, and corresponding parameters of proton enhancements with E>100 MeV exceeding 0.1 pfu registered by GOES monitors in near-Earth environment. The highest correlation has been found between the microwave and proton fluences. This fact reflects a dependence of the total number of protons on the total duration of the acceleration process. In the events with strong flares, the correlation coefficients of proton fluences with microwave and soft X-ray fluences are higher than those with speeds of coronal mass ejections. The results indicate a statistically larger contribution of flare processes to acceleration of high-energy protons. Acceleration by shock waves seems to be less important at high energies in events associated with strong flares, although its contribution probably prevails in weaker events. The probability of a detectable proton enhancement was found to directly depend on the peak flux and duration of a microwave burst. This can be used for diagnostics of proton enhancements based on microwave observations.

  12. NEOSURVEY 1: INITIAL RESULTS FROM THE WARM SPITZER EXPLORATION SCIENCE SURVEY OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECT PROPERTIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trilling, David E.; Mommert, Michael [Department of Physics and Astronomy, PO Box 6010, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States); Hora, Joseph; Fazio, Giovanni; Smith, Howard [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-65, Cambridge, MA 02138-1516 (United States); Chesley, Steve [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Emery, Joshua [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tennessee, 306 EPS Building, 1412 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Harris, Alan [German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489, Berlin (Germany); Mueller, Michael [SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, PO Box 800, 9700AV Groningen (Netherlands)

    2016-12-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits bring them close to the Earth’s orbit. We are carrying out a Warm Spitzer Cycle 11 Exploration Science program entitled NEOSurvey—a fast and efficient flux-limited survey of 597 known NEOs in which we derive a diameter and albedo for each target. The vast majority of our targets are too faint to be observed by NEOWISE, though a small sample has been or will be observed by both observatories, which allows for a cross-check of our mutual results. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties. We present here the first results from this new program: fluxes and derived diameters and albedos for 80 NEOs, together with a description of the overall program and approach, including several updates to our thermal model. The largest source of error in our diameter and albedo solutions, which derive from our single-band thermal emission measurements, is uncertainty in η , the beaming parameter used in our thermal modeling; for albedos, improvements in solar system absolute magnitudes would also help significantly. All data and derived diameters and albedos from this entire program are being posted on a publicly accessible Web page at nearearthobjects.nau.edu.

  13. SmallSat Missions Traveling to Planetary Targets from Near-Earth-Space: Applications for Space Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, J. R.; Folta, D.

    2017-12-01

    Recent advances in propulsion technology and interplanetary navigation theoretically allow very small spacecraft to travel directly to planetary destinations from near-Earth-space. Because there are currently many launches with excess mass capability (NASA, military, and even commercial), we anticipate a dramatic increase in the number of opportunities for missions to planetary targets. Spacecraft as small as 12U CubeSats can use solar electric propulsion to travel from Earth-orbit to Mars-orbit in approximately 2-3 years. Space physics missions are particularly well suited for such mission architectures since state-of-the-art instrumentation to answer fundamental science questions can be accommodated in relatively small payload packages. For example, multi-point measurements of the martian magnetosphere, ionosphere, and crustal magnetic fields would yield important new science results regarding atmospheric escape and the geophysical history of the martian surface. These measurements could be accomplished by a pair of 12U CubeSats with world-class instruments that require only modest mass, power, and telemetry resources (e.g. Goddard's mini-fluxgate vector magnetometer).

  14. Previously hidden low-energy ions: a better map of near-Earth space and the terrestrial mass balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    André, Mats

    2015-01-01

    This is a review of the mass balance of planet Earth, intended also for scientists not usually working with space physics or geophysics. The discussion includes both outflow of ions and neutrals from the ionosphere and upper atmosphere, and the inflow of meteoroids and larger objects. The focus is on ions with energies less than tens of eV originating from the ionosphere. Positive low-energy ions are complicated to detect onboard sunlit spacecraft at higher altitudes, which often become positively charged to several tens of volts. We have invented a technique to observe low-energy ions based on the detection of the wake behind a charged spacecraft in a supersonic ion flow. We find that low-energy ions usually dominate the ion density and the outward flux in large volumes in the magnetosphere. The global outflow is of the order of 10 26 ions s –1 . This is a significant fraction of the total number outflow of particles from Earth, and changes plasma processes in near-Earth space. We compare order of magnitude estimates of the mass outflow and inflow for planet Earth and find that they are similar, at around 1 kg s −1 (30 000 ton yr −1 ). We briefly discuss atmospheric and ionospheric outflow from other planets and the connection to evolution of extraterrestrial life. (invited comment)

  15. Multi-instrument observations of the ionospheric counterpart of a bursty bulk flow in the near-Earth plasma sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Grocott

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available On 07 September 2001 the Cluster spacecraft observed a "bursty bulk flow" event in the near-Earth central plasma sheet. This paper presents a detailed study of the coincident ground-based observations and attempts to place them within a simple physical framework. The event in question occurs at ~22:30 UT, some 10min after a southward turning of the IMF. IMAGE and SAMNET magnetometer measurements of the ground magnetic field reveal perturbations of a few tens of nT and small amplitude Pi2 pulsations. CUTLASS radar observations of ionospheric plasma convection show enhanced flows out of the polar cap near midnight, accompanied by an elevated transpolar voltage. Optical data from the IMAGE satellite also show that there is a transient, localised ~1 kR brightening in the UV aurora. These observations are consistent with the earthward transport of plasma in the tail, but also indicate the absence of a typical "large-scale" substorm current wedge. An analysis of the field-aligned current system implied by the radar measurements does suggest the existence of a small-scale current "wedgelet", but one which lacks the global scale and high conductivities observed during substorm expansions.

    Key words. Ionosphere (auroral ionosphere; ionospheremagnetosphere interactions; plasma convection

  16. NEOSURVEY 1: INITIAL RESULTS FROM THE WARM SPITZER EXPLORATION SCIENCE SURVEY OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECT PROPERTIES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trilling, David E.; Mommert, Michael; Hora, Joseph; Fazio, Giovanni; Smith, Howard; Chesley, Steve; Emery, Joshua; Harris, Alan; Mueller, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits bring them close to the Earth’s orbit. We are carrying out a Warm Spitzer Cycle 11 Exploration Science program entitled NEOSurvey—a fast and efficient flux-limited survey of 597 known NEOs in which we derive a diameter and albedo for each target. The vast majority of our targets are too faint to be observed by NEOWISE, though a small sample has been or will be observed by both observatories, which allows for a cross-check of our mutual results. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties. We present here the first results from this new program: fluxes and derived diameters and albedos for 80 NEOs, together with a description of the overall program and approach, including several updates to our thermal model. The largest source of error in our diameter and albedo solutions, which derive from our single-band thermal emission measurements, is uncertainty in η , the beaming parameter used in our thermal modeling; for albedos, improvements in solar system absolute magnitudes would also help significantly. All data and derived diameters and albedos from this entire program are being posted on a publicly accessible Web page at nearearthobjects.nau.edu.

  17. Matching asteroid population characteristics with a model constructed from the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Marzari, Francesco; Rossi, Alessandro; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2016-10-01

    From the results of a comprehensive asteroid population evolution model, we conclude that the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis is consistent with the observed population statistics of small asteroids in the main belt including binaries and contact binaries. These conclusions rest on the asteroid rotation model of Marzari et al. ([2011]Icarus, 214, 622-631), which incorporates both the YORP effect and collisional evolution. This work adds to that model the rotational fission hypothesis, described in detail within, and the binary evolution model of Jacobson et al. ([2011a] Icarus, 214, 161-178) and Jacobson et al. ([2011b] The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 736, L19). Our complete asteroid population evolution model is highly constrained by these and other previous works, and therefore it has only two significant free parameters: the ratio of low to high mass ratio binaries formed after rotational fission events and the mean strength of the binary YORP (BYORP) effect. We successfully reproduce characteristic statistics of the small asteroid population: the binary fraction, the fast binary fraction, steady-state mass ratio fraction and the contact binary fraction. We find that in order for the model to best match observations, rotational fission produces high mass ratio (> 0.2) binary components with four to eight times the frequency as low mass ratio (<0.2) components, where the mass ratio is the mass of the secondary component divided by the mass of the primary component. This is consistent with post-rotational fission binary system mass ratio being drawn from either a flat or a positive and shallow distribution, since the high mass ratio bin is four times the size of the low mass ratio bin; this is in contrast to the observed steady-state binary mass ratio, which has a negative and steep distribution. This can be understood in the context of the BYORP-tidal equilibrium hypothesis, which predicts that low mass ratio binaries survive for a significantly

  18. Radiation Recoil Effects on the Dynamical Evolution of Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotto-Figueroa, Desiree

    degree a stochastic YORP provide a viable means to explain why the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) population seems to remember their initial spin states at the time of delivery from the Main Belt. The YORP effect drives the obliquity of most objects that follow the YORP cycle to the values of 0, 90 and 180 degrees. NEAs could complete a YORP cycle on timescales much shorter than their typical dynamical lifetime. Therefore, one should expect the obliquity distribution of the population of NEAs to be concentrated about those values if they follow the YORP cycle. But to obtain a direct measurement of the obliquity distribution will require radar observations or multiple lightcurves at different illumination and orbital phases for each NEA. Instead of obtaining a direct measurement, the obliquity distribution can be inferred if the distribution of semimajor axis drift rates due to the Yarkovsky effect can be measured. From the linear heat diffusion theory for a spherical body, the semimajor axis drift rate varies linearly with cosine obliquity. Previous studies have attempted to infer the obliquity distribution taking advantage of this simple dependence. However, those results should be considered only approximate because of the neglect of the dependence of the semimajor axis drift rate on density, thermal properties, and shape. Here we seek to obtain the obliquity distribution of NEAs using a better approach based on Bayesian inference that takes into account our prior knowledge of the distributions of the physical parameters on which the semimajor axis drift rates depend. A preliminary obliquity distribution of the NEA population has been estimated to be a V-shaped model that lacks a concentration of objects at an obliquity of 90 degrees and which suggests that the most probable value of the fraction of retrograde rotators is 70.0%. Once the obliquity distribution is obtained, it can in turn be used to test YORP predictions and constrain YORP evolution.

  19. FIRST VLTI-MIDI DIRECT DETERMINATIONS OF ASTEROID SIZES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delbo, M.; Ligori, S.; Cellino, A.; Matter, A.; Berthier, J.

    2009-01-01

    We have obtained the first successful interferometric measurements of asteroid sizes and shapes by means of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer-Mid-Infrared Interferometric Instrument (VLTI-MIDI). The VLTI can spatially resolve asteroids in a range of sizes and heliocentric distances that are not accessible to other techniques such as adaptive optics and radar. We have observed, as a typical bench mark, the asteroid (951) Gaspra, visited in the past by the Galileo space probe, and we derive a size in good agreement with the ground truth coming from the in situ measurements by the Galileo mission. Moreover, we have also observed the asteroid (234) Barbara, known to exhibit unusual polarimetric properties, and we found evidence of a potential binary nature. In particular, our data are best fit by a system of two bodies of 37 and 21 km in diameter, separated by a center-to-center distance of ∼24 km (projected along the direction of the baseline at the epoch of our observations).

  20. Interacting binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Shore, S N; van den Heuvel, EPJ

    1994-01-01

    This volume contains lecture notes presented at the 22nd Advanced Course of the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy. The contributors deal with symbiotic stars, cataclysmic variables, massive binaries and X-ray binaries, in an attempt to provide a better understanding of stellar evolution.

  1. Compositional studies of primitive asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.

    1988-01-01

    The composition of primitive asteroids and their relationship to satellites in the solar system will be studied by analyzing existing narrowband charge coupled device (CCD) reflectance spectra, acquiring additional spectra of asteroids and small satellites in the 0.5 to 1.0 micrometer spectral range, and exploring possibilities for obtaining compositional information in the blue-UV spectral region. Comparison with laboratory spectra of terrestrial chlorites and serpentines (phyllosilicates) and the clay minerals found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites will continue. During 1987, narrowband CCD reflectance spectra of 17 additional asteroids were acquired. These spectra and spectra of 34 other asteroids have been used primarily for two studies: weak absorption features similar to those due to Fe2(+) and Fe2(+) - Fe3(+) transitions in iron oxides f ound in terrestrial chlorites and serpentines and carbonaceous chondrites have been identified in some primitive asteroid spectra. There is a first indication that asteroids grouped by heliocentric distance show similar weak absorption features. Nonparametric statistics are being applied to test the hypothesis of discrete remnants of a gradation in composition of outer-belt asteroids

  2. Mine Planning for Asteroid Orebodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertsch, L. S.; Gertsch, R. E.

    2000-01-01

    Given that an asteroid (or comet) has been determined to contain sufficient material of value to be potentially economic to exploit, a mining method must be selected and implemented. This paper discusses the engineering necessary to bring a mine online, and the opportunities and challenges inherent in asteroid mineral prospects. The very important step of orebody characterization is discussed elsewhere. The mining methods discussed here are based on enclosing the asteroid within a bag in some fashion, whether completely or partially. In general, asteroid mining methods based on bags will consist of the following steps. Not all will be required in every case, nor necessarily in this particular sequence. Some steps will be performed simultaneously. Their purpose is to extract the valuable material from the body of the asteroid in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. In approximate order of initiation, if not of conclusion, the steps are: 1. Tether anchoring to the asteroid. 2. Asteroid motion control. 3. Body/fragment restraint system placement. 4. Operations platform construction. 5. Bag construction. 6. Auxiliary and support equipment placement. 7. Mining operations. 8. Processing operations. 9. Product transport to markets.

  3. The Undiscovered Country: How Many Low-Delta-V Near-Earth Objects Remain to be Found?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvis, Martin; Ranjan, Sukrit; Galache, Jose Luis

    2014-11-01

    Low delta-v near-Earth objects (NEOs) are of great interest as targets for science and human missions, for possible retrieval to cis-lunar space and as potential resource targets for both exploration and commercial uses. This interest stems from the exponential nature of the rocket equation that imposes a harsh mass penalty on any mission to a higher delta-v. We have compared the known NEO population from the IAU Minor Planet Center (MPC) with the NEOSSat-1 model residence times for the NEO population (Greenstreet & Gladman, 2012) to assess how many undiscovered NEOs there are as a function of H magnitude and delta-v. We find that the median of known NEOs is at lower delta-v (7.3 km/s) than the model population (9.8 km/s), suggesting a bias toward detecting lower delta-v NEOs. To the precision of our data, which is as low as 40% for the 300-500 m diameter (D) objects, the bulk of the larger D>300 m NEOs have been found from delta-v<10.3 km/s. However in the 50 < D < 300 m range there are tens of thousands of delta-v < 10.3 km/s to be found. We examine the total number of undiscovered NEOs as a function of delta-v and find that to find at least 100 now unknown NEOs requires a threshold delta-v of 5.7 km/s, while to find at least 1000 of them requires a threshold delta-v of 6.2 km/s. These numbers can be used to determine mission delta-v requirements for a given number of suitable targets, that will likely be restricted by other criteria (size, composition, spin state) to a few percent of the total population.

  4. Statistics of the tripolar electrostatic solitary waves within magnetic reconnection diffusion region in the near-Earth magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S. Y.; Zhang, S. F.; Cai, H.; Chen, X. Q.; Deng, X. H.

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we report the observations and statistical characteristics of tripolar electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) along the plasma sheet boundary layer near the magnetic reconnection X line in the near-Earth magnetotail. Within reconnection diffusion region, the tripolar ESWs are ample and are continuously observed during one burst interval (8.75 s) of the Geotail/WaveForm Capture in the neutral plasma sheet where β > 1 on 10:20 UT, 2 February 1996. The tripolar ESW is suggested to be one kind of steady-going solitary structure. More than 200 waveforms with clear tripolar characteristics are differentiated for statistical analysis, and result shows that (1) their amplitude is within 100->500 μV/m, with an average amplitude of about 254 μV/m; (2) the pulse width of the tripolar ESWs is 0.5-1.0 ms, with an average value of about 0.75 ms; (3) it is asymmetrical in both the amplitude and pulse width of the tripolar ESWs: most part of the tripolar ESWs (about 76.5%) are asymmetrical in the amplitude of one hump and the other one, and more than 75% (about 177 amount the 236 waveforms) of the tripolar ESWs are asymmetrical in the time duration of the two humps in the waveform; (4) most of the tripolar ESWs are with the potential humps of 10-60 mV, small ratio of them with potential humps larger than 100 mV. The tripolar ESWs with net potential drop of about 10-50 mV can be interpreted as "weak" double layers. The possible generation mechanism of tripolar ESWs and their role in reconnection are discussed by studying the particle distribution during which the tripolar ESWs are continuously observed. The observation of tripolar ESWs presents evidence of complex structure of electron holes within the reconnection diffusion region and is helpful to the understanding of the energy release process of reconnection.

  5. Relevance of near-Earth magnetic field modeling in deriving SEP properties using ground-based data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanellakopoulos, Anastasios; Plainaki, Christina; Mavromichalaki, Helen; Laurenza, Monica; Gerontidou, Maria; Storini, Marisa; Andriopoulou, Maria

    2014-05-01

    Ground Level Enhancements (GLEs) are short-term increases observed in cosmic ray intensity records of ground-based particle detectors such as neutron monitors (NMs) or muon detectors; they are related to the arrival of solar relativistic particles in the terrestrial environment. Hence, GLE events are related to the most energetic class of solar energetic particle (SEP) events. In this work we investigate how the use of different magnetospheric field models can influence the derivation of the relativistic SEP properties when modeling GLE events. As a case study, we examine the event of 2012 May 17 (also known as GLE71), registered by ground-based NMs. We apply the Tsyganenko 89 and the Tsyganenko 96 models in order to calculate the trajectories of the arriving SEPs in the near-Earth environment. We show that the intersection of the SEP trajectories with the atmospheric layer at ~20 km from the Earth's surface (i.e., where the flux of the generated secondary particles is maximum), forms for each ground-based neutron monitor a specified viewing region that is dependent on the magnetospheric field configuration. Then, we apply the Neutron Monitor Based Anisotropic GLE Pure Power Law (NMBANGLE PPOLA) model (Plainaki et al. 2010, Solar Phys, 264, 239), in order to derive the spectral properties of the related SEP event and the spatial distributions of the SEP fluxes impacting the Earth's atmosphere. We examine the dependence of the results on the used magnetic field models and evaluate their range of validity. Finally we discuss information derived by modeling the SEP spectrum in the frame of particle acceleration scenarios.

  6. A multisatellite case study of the expansion of a substorm current wedge in the near-Earth magnetotail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, R.E.; Lui, A.T.Y.

    1990-01-01

    This study presents observations made by four spacecraft (AMPTE CCE, AMPTE IRM, GOES 5, and GOES 6) and two ground stations (San Juan and Tucson) during a substorm that occurred at ∼0830 UT on April 19, 1985. The spacecraft were arrayed in a configuration that allows for the examination of the spatial evolution of the substorm current wedge, CCE was located between the GOES spacecraft in longitude, but at a radial distance of 8.0 R E . IRM was located west of the other three spacecraft in the same sector as Tucson, but at a radial distance of 11.6 R E . The relative times at which the signature of the substorm current wedge was first observed at the GOES spacecraft and the ground stations are consistent with a simple longitudinally expanding current wedge. However, the times at which IRM and CCE observed the current wedge are not consistent with a current wedge that expanded only longitudinally, IRM first observed the signature of the current wedge at about the same time the signature was observed by GOES 6 and Tucson, and CCE observed the current wedge only after both GOES satellites and the ground stations had done so. Moreover, both GOES spacecraft observed signatures consistent with entry into the central plasma sheet before CCE and IRM did, even though we estimate that CCE was slightly closer to the neutral sheet than the geosynchronous spacecraft. The sequence of events suggests that during this substorm the disruption of the cross-tail current sheet, the formation of the substorm current wedge, and the expansion of the plasma sheet began in the near-Earth region, and subsequently spread tailward as well as longitudinally

  7. Analysis of Approaches to the Near-Earth Orbit Cleanup from Space Debris of the Size Below10 cm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Maiorova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, there are a lot of concepts aimed at space debris removal from the near-Earth orbits being under way at different stages of detailed engineering and design. As opposed to large-size space debris (upper-stages, rocket bodies, non-active satellites, to track the small objects of space debris (SOSD, such as picosatellites, satellite fragments, pyrotechnic devices, and other items less than 10 cm in size, using the ground stations is, presently, a challenge.This SOSD feature allows the authors to propose the two most rational approaches, which use, respectively, a passive and an active (prompt maneuverable space vehicles (SV and appropriate schematic diagrams for their collection:1 Passive scheme – space vehicle (SV to be launched into an orbit is characterized by high mathematical expectation of collision with a large amount of SOSD and, accordingly, by high probability to be captured using both active or the passive tools. The SV does not execute any maneuvers, but can be equipped with a propulsion system required for orbit’s maintenance and correction and also for solving the tasks of long-range guidance.2 Active scheme – the SV is to be launched into the target or operating orbit and executes a number of maneuvers to capture the SOSD using both active and passive tools. Thus, such a SV has to be equipped with a rather high-trust propulsion system, which allows the change of its trajectory and also with the guidance system to provide it with target coordinates. The guidance system can be built on either radio or optical devices, it can be installed onboard the debris-removal SV or onboard the SV which operates as a supply unit (if such SVs are foreseen.The paper describes each approach, emphasizes advantages and disadvantages, and defines the cutting-edge technologies to be implemented.

  8. On protecting the planet against cosmic attack: Ultrafast real-time estimate of the asteroid's radial velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharchenko, V. D.; Kovalenko, I. G.

    2014-05-01

    A new method for the line-of-sight velocity estimation of a high-speed near-Earth object (asteroid, meteorite) is suggested. The method is based on the use of fractional, one-half order derivative of a Doppler signal. The algorithm suggested is much simpler and more economical than the classical one, and it appears preferable for use in orbital weapon systems of threat response. Application of fractional differentiation to quick evaluation of mean frequency location of the reflected Doppler signal is justified. The method allows an assessment of the mean frequency in the time domain without spectral analysis. An algorithm structure for the real-time estimation is presented. The velocity resolution estimates are made for typical asteroids in the X-band. It is shown that the wait time can be shortened by orders of magnitude compared with similar value in the case of a standard spectral processing.

  9. Ground-based characterization of Hayabusa2 mission target asteroid 162173 Ryugu: constraining mineralogical composition in preparation for spacecraft operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Corre, Lucille; Sanchez, Juan A.; Reddy, Vishnu; Takir, Driss; Cloutis, Edward A.; Thirouin, Audrey; Becker, Kris J.; Li, Jian-Yang; Sugita, Seiji; Tatsumi, Eri

    2018-03-01

    Asteroids that are targets of spacecraft missions are interesting because they present us with an opportunity to validate ground-based spectral observations. One such object is near-Earth asteroid (NEA) (162173) Ryugu, which is the target of the Japanese Space Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa2 sample return mission. We observed Ryugu using the 3-m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, on 2016 July 13 to constrain the object's surface composition, meteorite analogues, and link to other asteroids in the main belt and NEA populations. We also modelled its photometric properties using archival data. Using the Lommel-Seeliger model we computed the predicted flux for Ryugu at a wide range of viewing geometries as well as albedo quantities such as geometric albedo, phase integral, and spherical Bond albedo. Our computed albedo quantities are consistent with results from Ishiguro et al. Our spectral analysis has found a near-perfect match between our spectrum of Ryugu and those of NEA (85275) 1994 LY and Mars-crossing asteroid (316720) 1998 BE7, suggesting that their surface regoliths have similar composition. We compared Ryugu's spectrum with that of main belt asteroid (302) Clarissa, the largest asteroid in the Clarissa asteroid family, suggested as a possible source of Ryugu by Campins et al. We found that the spectrum of Clarissa shows significant differences with our spectrum of Ryugu, but it is similar to the spectrum obtained by Moskovitz et al. The best possible meteorite analogues for our spectrum of Ryugu are two CM2 carbonaceous chondrites, Mighei and ALH83100.

  10. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan [Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Meteorites, Minor Bodies and Planetary Sciences Group, Campus UAB Bellaterra, c/Can Magrans s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona) (Spain); Pellicer, Eva [Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Williams, Iwan P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London, 317 Mile End Road, E1 4NS London (United Kingdom); Blum, Jürgen [Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Michel, Patrick [Lagrange Laboratory, University of Nice, CNRS, Côte d’Azur Observatory (France); Küppers, Michael [European Space Agency, European Space Astronomy Centre, P.O. Box 78, Villanueva de la Cañada E-28691 (Spain); Sort, Jordi, E-mail: moyano@ice.csic.es, E-mail: trigo@ice.csic.es [Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) and Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2017-02-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  11. Investigating the Geological History of Asteroid 101955 Bennu Through Remote Sensing and Returned Sample Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, S.; Connolly, H. C., Jr.; Lauretta, D. S.; Bottke, W. F.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA New Frontiers Mission OSRIS-REx will return surface regolith samples from near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu in September 2023. This target is classified as a B-type asteroid and is spectrally similar to CI and CM chondrite meteorites [1]. The returned samples are thus expected to contain primitive ancient Solar System materials that formed in planetary, nebular, interstellar, and circumstellar environments. Laboratory studies of primitive astromaterials have yielded detailed constraints on the origins, properties, and evolutionary histories of a wide range of Solar System bodies. Yet, the parent bodies of meteorites and cosmic dust are generally unknown, genetic and evolutionary relationships among asteroids and comets are unsettled, and links between laboratory and remote observations remain tenuous. The OSIRIS-REx mission will offer the opportunity to coordinate detailed laboratory analyses of asteroidal materials with known and well characterized geological context from which the samples originated. A primary goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission will be to provide detailed constraints on the origin and geological and dynamical history of Bennu through coordinated analytical studies of the returned samples. These microanalytical studies will be placed in geological context through an extensive orbital remote sensing campaign that will characterize the global geological features and chemical diversity of Bennu. The first views of the asteroid surface and of the returned samples will undoubtedly bring remarkable surprises. However, a wealth of laboratory studies of meteorites and spacecraft encounters with primitive bodies provides a useful framework to formulate priority scientific questions and effective analytical approaches well before the samples are returned. Here we summarize our approach to unraveling the geological history of Bennu through returned sample analyses.

  12. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan; Pellicer, Eva; Williams, Iwan P.; Blum, Jürgen; Michel, Patrick; Küppers, Michael; Sort, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  13. Asteroid named after CAS scientist

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ An asteroid has been named after CAS astronomy historian XI Zezong with the approval of the International Minor Planet Nomenclature Committee (IMPNC), announced China's National Astronomical Observatories at CAS (NAOC) on 17 August.

  14. Lifetime of a spacecraft around a synchronous system of asteroids using a dipole model

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Leonardo Barbosa Torres; de Almeida Prado, Antonio F. Bertachini; Sanchez, Diogo Merguizo

    2017-11-01

    Space missions allow us to expand our knowledge about the origin of the solar system. It is believed that asteroids and comets preserve the physical characteristics from the time that the solar system was created. For this reason, there was an increase of missions to asteroids in the past few years. To send spacecraft to asteroids or comets is challenging, since these objects have their own characteristics in several aspects, such as size, shape, physical properties, etc., which are often only discovered after the approach and even after the landing of the spacecraft. These missions must be developed with sufficient flexibility to adjust to these parameters, which are better determined only when the spacecraft reaches the system. Therefore, conducting a dynamic investigation of a spacecraft around a multiple asteroid system offers an extremely rich environment. Extracting accurate information through analytical approaches is quite challenging and requires a significant number of restrictive assumptions. For this reason, a numerical approach to the dynamics of a spacecraft in the vicinity of a binary asteroid system is offered in this paper. In the present work, the equations of the Restricted Synchronous Four-Body Problem (RSFBP) are used to model a binary asteroid system. The main objective of this work is to construct grids of initial conditions, which relates semi-major axis and eccentricity, in order to quantify the lifetime of a spacecraft when released close to the less massive body of the binary system (modeled as a rotating mass dipole). We performed an analysis of the lifetime of the spacecraft considering several mass ratios of a binary system of asteroids and investigating the behavior of a spacecraft in the vicinity of this system. We analyze direct and retrograde orbits. This study investigated orbits that survive for at least 500 orbital periods of the system (which is approximately one year), then not colliding or escaping from the system during this

  15. Special issue on asteroids - Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novaković, Bojan; Hsieh, Henry H.; Gronchi, Giovanni F.

    2018-04-01

    The articles in this special issue are devoted to asteroids, small solar system bodies that primarily populate a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, known as the asteroid belt, but can also be found throughout the Solar System. Asteroids are considered to be a key to understanding the formation and evolution of our planetary system. Their properties allow us to test current theoretical models and develop new theoretical concepts pertaining to evolutionary processes in the Solar System. There have been major advances in asteroid science in the last decade, and that trend continues. Eighteen papers accepted for this special issue cover a wide range of asteroid-related subjects, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of these intriguing objects even further. Here we provide the reader with a brief overview of these thrilling papers, with an invitation for interested scientists to read each work in detail for a better understanding of these recent cutting edge results. As many topics in asteroid science remain open challenges, we hope that this special issue will be an important reference point for future research on this compelling topic.

  16. Asteroids: up close and personal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, Clark R. [Southwest Research Institute (United States)

    2001-06-01

    Think of our solar system. The Sun, the Moon and the nine planets come to mind first, followed by the moons of other planets and other small bodies like asteroids. In 1991, almost 30 years after planetary exploration began, an asteroid was visited by a passing spacecraft for the first time. Nearly another decade elapsed before the first dedicated asteroid mission went into orbit around Eros, a city-sized object some 34 km long. And earlier this year, the NEAR, Shoemaker spacecraft daringly descended to the surface of Eros and landed safely. Asteroids have been pushed to the tail-end of the itinerary of solar-system exploration because of their diminutive sizes. Indeed, the wealth of low-gravity phenomena associated with asteroids has captured the imagination of both researchers and the public alike. In the June issue of Physics World Clark R Chapman of the Southwest Research Institute, US, explains how the landing of a spacecraft on the asteroid Eros earlier this year has given space scientists the best view yet of small planetary bodies and has opened a new window on the solar system. (U.K.)

  17. OSIRIS-REx Touch-and-Go (TAG) Mission Design for Asteroid Sample Collection

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Alexander; Sutter, Brian; Linn, Timothy; Bierhaus, Beau; Berry, Kevin; Mink, Ron

    2014-01-01

    The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission is a NASA New Frontiers mission launching in September 2016 to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid Bennu in October 2018. After several months of proximity operations to characterize the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx flies a Touch-And-Go (TAG) trajectory to the asteroid's surface to collect at least 60 g of pristine regolith sample for Earth return. This paper provides mission and flight system overviews, with more details on the TAG mission design and key events that occur to safely and successfully collect the sample. An overview of the navigation performed relative to a chosen sample site, along with the maneuvers to reach the desired site is described. Safety monitoring during descent is performed with onboard sensors providing an option to abort, troubleshoot, and try again if necessary. Sample collection occurs using a collection device at the end of an articulating robotic arm during a brief five second contact period, while a constant force spring mechanism in the arm assists to rebound the spacecraft away from the surface. Finally, the sample is measured quantitatively utilizing the law of conservation of angular momentum, along with qualitative data from imagery of the sampling device. Upon sample mass verification, the arm places the sample into the Stardust-heritage Sample Return Capsule (SRC) for return to Earth in September 2023.

  18. Space weathering trends on carbonaceous asteroids: A possible explanation for Bennu's blue slope?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, C.; Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, F. E.

    2018-03-01

    We compare primitive near-Earth asteroid spectral properties to the irradiated carbonaceous chondrite samples of Lantz et al. (2017) in order to assess how space weathering processes might influence taxonomic classification. Using the same eigenvectors from the asteroid taxonomy by DeMeo et al. (2009), we calculate the principal components for fresh and irradiated meteorites and find that change in spectral slope (blueing or reddening) causes a corresponding shift in the two first principal components along the same line that the C- and X-complexes track. Using a sample of B-, C-, X-, and D-type NEOs with visible and near-infrared spectral data, we further investigated the correlation between prinicipal components and the spectral curvature for the primitive asteroids. We find that space weathering effects are not just slope and albedo, but also include spectral curvature. We show how, through space weathering, surfaces having an original "C-type" reflectance can thus turn into a redder P-type or a bluer B-type, and that space weathering can also decrease (and disguise) the D-type population. Finally we take a look at the case of OSIRIS-REx target (101955) Bennu and propose an explanation for the blue and possibly red spectra that were previously observed on different locations of its surface: parts of Bennu's surface could have become blue due to space weathering, while fresher areas are redder. No clear prediction can be made on Hayabusa-2 target (162173) Ryugu.

  19. Trojan Binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noll, K. S.

    2017-12-01

    The Jupiter Trojans, in the context of giant planet migration models, can be thought of as an extension of the small body populations found beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt. Binaries are a distinctive feature of small body populations in the Kuiper Belt with an especially high fraction apparent among the brightest Cold Classicals. The binary fraction, relative sizes, and separations in the dynamically excited populations (Scattered, Resonant) reflects processes that may have eroded a more abundant initial population. This trend continues in the Centaurs and Trojans where few binaries have been found. We review new evidence including a third resolved Trojan binary and lightcurve studies to understand how the Trojans are related to the small body populations that originated in the outer protoplanetary disk.

  20. Physical characteristics of the binary PHA 2003 YT1

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Larson, S. M.; Grauer, A. D.; Beshore, E.; Christensen, E.; Pravec, Petr; Kaasalainen, M.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Hine, A. A.; Galád, Adrián; Gajdoš, Š.; Kornoš, L.; Világi, J.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 4 (2004), s. 1139 ISSN 0002-7537 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : binary * asteroids * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  1. Integrated science and engineering for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretta, D.

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission will survey near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu to understand its physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties, assess its resource potential, refine the impact hazard, and return a sample of this body to the Earth [1]. This mission is scheduled for launch in 2016 and will rendezvous with the asteroid in 2018. Sample return to the Earth follows in 2023. The OSIRIS-REx mission has the challenge of visiting asteroid Bennu, characterizing it at global and local scales, then selecting the best site on the asteroid surface to acquire a sample for return to the Earth. Minimizing the risk of exploring an unknown world requires a tight integration of science and engineering to inform flight system and mission design. Defining the Asteroid Environment: We have performed an extensive astronomical campaign in support of OSIRIS-REx. Lightcurve and phase function observations were obtained with UA Observatories telescopes located in southeastern Arizona during the 2005--2006 and 2011--2012 apparitions [2]. We observed Bennu using the 12.6-cm radar at the Arecibo Observatory in 1999, 2005, and 2011 and the 3.5-cm radar at the Goldstone tracking station in 1999 and 2005 [3]. We conducted near-infrared measurements using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii in September 2005 [4]. Additional spectral observations were obtained in July 2011 and May 2012 with the Magellan 6.5-m telescope [5]. We used the Spitzer space telescope to observe Bennu in May 2007 [6]. The extensive knowledge gained as a result of our telescopic characterization of Bennu was critical in the selection of this object as the OSIRIS-REx mission target. In addition, we use these data, combined with models of the asteroid, to constrain over 100 different asteroid parameters covering orbital, bulk, rotational, radar

  2. Preliminary design of an asteroid hopping mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheppa, Michael D.

    In 2010, NASA announced that its new vision is to support private space launch operations. It is anticipated that this new direction will create the need for new and innovative ideas that push the current boundaries of space exploration and contain the promise of substantial gain, both in research and capital. The purpose of the study is to plan and estimate the feasibility of a mission to visit a number of near Earth asteroids (NEAs). The mission would take place before the end of the 21st century, and would only use commercially available technology. Throughout the mission design process, while holding astronaut safety paramount, it was the goal to maximize the return while keeping the cost to a minimum. A mission of the nature would appeal to the private space industry because it could be easily adapted and set into motion. The mission design was divided into three main parts; mission timeline, vehicle design and power sources, with emphasis on nuclear and solar electric power, were investigated. The timeline and associated trajectories were initially selected using a numerical estimation and then optimized using Satellite Tool Kit (STK) 9.s's Design Explorer Optimizer [1]. Next, the spacecraft was design using commercially available parts that would support the mission requirements. The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) was and instrumental piece in maximizing the number of NEAs visited. Once the spacecraft was designed, acceptable power supply options were investigated. The VASIMR VX-200 requires 200 kilowatts of power to maintain thrust. This creates the need for a substantial power supply that consists of either a nuclear reactor of massive solar arrays. STK 9.1's Design Explorer Optimizer was able to create a mission time line that allowed for the exploration of seven NEAs in under two years, while keeping the total mission DeltaV under 71 kilometers per second. Based on these initial findings, it is determined that a mission of this

  3. Occultation/Eclipse Events in Binary Asteroid 1991 VH

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Wolf, M.; Kotková, Lenka

    1998-01-01

    Roč. 133, č. 1 (1998), s. 79-88 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003708; GA ČR GA205/95/1498 Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.215, year: 1998

  4. Characterization of the Surface Properties of MUSES-C/Hayabusa Spacecraft Target Asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Domingue, D. L.; Vilas, F.; Abe, M.; Farnham, T. L.; Jarvis, K. S.; Lowry, S. C.; Ohba, Y.; Weissman, P. R.; French, L. M.

    2004-01-01

    Several spacecraft missions have recently targeted asteroids to study their morphologies and physical properties (e.g. Galileo, NEAR Shoemaker), and more are planned. MUSES-C is a Japanese mission designed to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid (NEA). The MUSES-C spacecraft, Hayabusa, was launched successfully in May 2003. It will rendezvous with its target asteroid in 2005, and return samples to the Earth in 2007. Its target, 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36), made a close approach to the Earth in 2001. We collected an extensive ground-based database of broadband photometry obtained during this time, which maximized the phase angle coverage, to characterize this target in preparation for the mission. Our project was designed to capitalize on the broadband UBVRI photometric observations taken with a series of telescopes, instrumentation, and observers. Photometry and spectrophotometry of Itokawa were acquired at Lowell, McDonald, Steward, Palomar, Table Mountain and Kiso Observatories. The photometric data sets were combined to calculate Hapke model parameters of the surface material of Itokawa, and examine the solar-corrected broadband color characteristics of the asteroid. Broadband photometry of an object can be used to: (1) determine its colors and thereby contribute to the understanding of its surface composition and taxonomic class, and (2) infer global physical surface properties of the target body. We present both colors from UBVRI observations of the MUSES-C target Itokawa, and physical properties derived by applying a Hapke model to the broadband BVRI photometry.

  5. Controlled Ascent From the Surface of an Asteroid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Haijun; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Cornelius, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently investigating a conceptual robotic mission to collect a small boulder up to 4 m in diameter resting on the surface of a large Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). Because most NEAs are not well characterized, a great range of uncertainties in boulder mass properties and NEA surface characteristics must be considered in the design of this mission. These uncertainties are especially significant when the spacecraft ascends with the boulder in tow. The most important requirement during ascent is to keep the spacecraft in an upright posture to maintain healthy ground clearances for the two large solar arrays. This paper focuses on the initial stage (the first 50 m) of ascent from the surface. Specifically, it presents a sensitivity study of the solar array ground clearance, control authority, and accelerations at the array tips in the presence of a variety of uncertainties including various boulder sizes, densities, shapes and orientations, locations of the true center of mass, and push-off force distributions. Results are presented, and appropriate operations are recommended in the event some of the off-nominal cases occur.

  6. Developing an Asteroid Rotational Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geis, Gena; Williams, Miguel; Linder, Tyler; Pakey, Donald

    2018-01-01

    The goal of this project is to develop a theoretical asteroid rotational theory from first principles. Starting at first principles provides a firm foundation for computer simulations which can be used to analyze multiple variables at once such as size, rotation period, tensile strength, and density. The initial theory will be presented along with early models of applying the theory to the asteroid population. Early results confirm previous work by Pravec et al. (2002) that show the majority of the asteroids larger than 200m have negligible tensile strength and have spin rates close to their critical breakup point. Additionally, results show that an object with zero tensile strength has a maximum rotational rate determined by the object’s density, not size. Therefore, an iron asteroid with a density of 8000 kg/m^3 would have a minimum spin period of 1.16h if the only forces were gravitational and centrifugal. The short-term goal is to include material forces in the simulations to determine what tensile strength will allow the high spin rates of asteroids smaller than 150m.

  7. ASTEROID POLARIMETRIC DATABASE V6.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Polarimetric Database (APD) is a collection of asteroid polarimetry results compiled by D.F. Lupishko and S.V. Vasiliev of Karazin Kharkiv National...

  8. ASTEROID PHOTOMETRIC CATALOG V1.1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Asteroid Photometric Catalog (3rd update), Lagerkvist, et.al., 1993 [LAGERKVISTETAL1993], is a compilation of all asteroid lightcurve photometry published up to...

  9. VNIR Reflectance and MIR Emissivity Spectra of Ordinary Chondrite Meteorites Under Simulated Asteroid Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemma, M.; Shirley, K.; Glotch, T. D.; Ebel, D. S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Recent missions have revealed much about the nature of many Near-Earth asteroids, including the NEAR-Shoemaker target 433 Eros and Hayabusa target 25142 Itokawa. Both asteroids appear to have mineralogy consistent with ordinary chondrite meteorites. Laboratory spectral analysis of well-constrained meteorite samples can be employed as a reference tool to characterize and constrain data from current and future asteroid studies. A sample set of ordinary chondrite meteorites was chosen from the collection at the American Museum of Natural History. Six meteorites, spanning groups H, L, and LL, were prepared at four different size fractions (25-63 μm, 63-90 μm, 90-125 μm, 125-250 μm) in an attempt to mimic regolith known to exist on asteroids such as 433 Eros and 25142 Itokawa. At the Center for Planetary Exploration at Stony Brook University, spectra of the ordinary chondrite material were measured under simulated asteroid surface conditions ( 10-6 mbar, 150 K chamber temperature, low intensity illumination). The samples were used in two experiments: one measuring visible and near-infrared (VNIR) reflectance spectra at a series of temperatures, and the other measuring mid-infrared (MIR) emissivity spectra. The emissivity measurements require accurate simulation of the thermal environment within asteroid regolith, achieved by inducing a thermal gradient within the sample that results in a surface brightness temperature around 323 K (similar to the surface of 25142 Itokawa). Mid-IR emissivity spectra were collected for each sample at a surface temperature of 323 K, and reflectance spectra were collected in increments of 10 K, over the range 283 K to 373 K. Preliminary VNIR spectra show spreads similar to those seen in Hinrichs and Lucey (2002). Preliminary MIR emissivity spectra suggest that under asteroid surface conditions, the position of the Christiansen feature shifts to shorter wavelengths and emissivity is lower in the Reststrahlen bands when compared to

  10. Reflectance spectroscopy and asteroid surface mineralogy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaffey, M.J.; Bell, J.F.; Cruikshank, D.P.

    1989-01-01

    Information available from reflectance spectroscopy on the surface mineralogy of asteroids is discussed. Current spectral interpretive procedures used in the investigations of asteroid mineralogy are described. Present understanding of the nature and history of asteroids is discussed together with some still unresolved issues such as the source of ordinary chondrites. 100 refs

  11. Investigating Trojan Asteroids at the L4/L5 Sun-Earth Lagrange Points

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, K. K.; Graham, L. D.; Abell, P. A.

    2015-01-01

    Investigations of Earth's Trojan asteroids will have benefits for science, exploration, and resource utilization. By sending a small spacecraft to the Sun-Earth L4 or L5 Lagrange points to investigate near-Earth objects, Earth's Trojan population can be better understood. This could lead to future missions for larger precursor spacecraft as well as human missions. The presence of objects in the Sun-Earth L4 and L5 Lagrange points has long been suspected, and in 2010 NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) detected a 300 m object. To investigate these Earth Trojan asteroid objects, it is both essential and feasible to send spacecraft to these regions. By exploring a wide field area, a small spacecraft equipped with an IR camera could hunt for Trojan asteroids and other Earth co-orbiting objects at the L4 or L5 Lagrange points in the near-term. By surveying the region, a zeroth-order approximation of the number of objects could be obtained with some rough constraints on their diameters, which may lead to the identification of potential candidates for further study. This would serve as a precursor for additional future robotic and human exploration targets. Depending on the inclination of these potential objects, they could be used as proving areas for future missions in the sense that the delta-V's to get to these targets are relatively low as compared to other rendezvous missions. They can serve as platforms for extended operations in deep space while interacting with a natural object in microgravity. Theoretically, such low inclination Earth Trojan asteroids exist. By sending a spacecraft to L4 or L5, these likely and potentially accessible targets could be identified.

  12. Multi-Wavelength Observations of Asteroid 2100 Ra-Shalom: Visible, Infrared, and Thermal Spectroscopy Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Beth Ellen; Shepard, M.; Bus, S. J.; Vilas, F.; Rivkin, A. S.; Lim, L.; Lederer, S.; Jarvis, K.; Shah, S.; McConnochie, T.

    2004-01-01

    The August 2003 apparition of asteroid 2100 Ra-Shalom brought together a collaboration of observers with the goal of obtaining rotationally resolved multiwavelength spectra at each of 5 facilities: infrared spectra at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (Clark and Shepard), radar images at Arecibo (Shepard and Clark), thermal infrared spectra at Palomar (Lim, McConnochie and Bell), visible spectra at McDonald Observatory (Vilas, Lederer and Jarvis), and visible lightcurves at Ondrojev Observatory (Pravec). The radar data was to be used to develop a high spatial resolution physical model to be used in conjunction with spectral data to investigate compositional and textural properties on the near surface of Ra Shalom as a function of rotation phase. This was the first coordinated multi-wavelength investigation of any Aten asteroid. There are many reasons to study near-Earth asteroid (NEA) 2100 Ra-Shalom: 1) It has a controversial classification (is it a C- or K-type object)? 2) There would be interesting dynamical ramifications if Ra-Shalom is a K-type because most K-types come from the Eos family and there are no known dynamical pathways from Eos to the Aten population. 3) The best available spectra obtained previously may indicate a heterogeneous surface (most asteroids appear to be fairly homogeneous). 4) Ra-Shalom thermal observations obtained previously indicated a lack of regolith, minimizing the worry of space weathering effects in the spectra. 5) Radar observations obtained previously hinted at interesting surface structures. 6) Ra-Shalom is one of the largest Aten objects. And 7) Ra-Shalom is on a short list of proposed NEAs for spacecraft encounters and possible sample returns. Preliminary results from the visible, infrared, and thermal spectroscopy measurements will be presented here.

  13. Volcanism on differentiated asteroids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Dawn spacecraft's investigation of 4 Vesta, best-preserved of the early-forming differentiated asteroids, prompts a reappraisal of factors controlling igneous activity on such bodies. Analogy with melt transfer in zones of partial melting on Earth implies that silicate melts moved efficiently within asteroid mantles in complex networks of veins and dikes, so that only a few percent of the mantle consisted of melt at any one time. Thus even in cases where large amounts of mantle melting occurred, the melts did not remain in the mantle to form "magma oceans", but instead migrated to shallow depths. The link between magma flow rate and the stresses needed to keep fractures open and allow flow fast enough to avoid excessive cooling implies that only within asteroids with radii more than ~190-250 km would continuous magma flow from mantle to surface be possible. In all smaller asteroids (including Vesta) magma must have accumulated in sills at the base of the lithosphere (the conductively controlled ~10 km thick thermal boundary layer) or in crustal magma reservoirs near its base. Magma would then have erupted intermittently to the surface from these steadily replenished reservoirs. The average rates of eruption to the surface (or shallow intrusion) should balance the magma production rate, but since magma could accumulate and erupt intermittently from these reservoirs, the instantaneous eruption rates could be hundreds to thousands of cubic m/s, comparable to historic basaltic eruption rates on Earth and very much greater than the average mantle melting rate. The absence of asteroid atmospheres makes explosive eruptions likely even if magmas are volatile-poor. On asteroids with radii less than ~100 km, gases and sub-mm pyroclastic melt droplets would have had speeds exceeding the escape speed assuming a few hundred ppm volatiles, and only cm sized or larger clasts would have been retained. On larger bodies almost all pyroclasts will have returned to the surface

  14. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chao; Ma, Yue-hua; Zhao, Hai-bin; Lu, Xiao-ping

    2017-10-01

    With the increasing spectral and photometric data of asteroids, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. In combination with the present taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, and DeMeo, and the principal component analysis, we have classified 48642 asteroids according to their SDSS magnitudes at the g, r, i, and z wavebands. In this way, these asteroids are divided into 8 (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V) classes.

  15. Spectral Classification of Asteroids by Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.; Ma, Y. H.; Zhao, H. B.; Lu, X. P.

    2016-09-01

    With the increasing asteroid spectral and photometric data, a variety of classification methods for asteroids have been proposed. This paper classifies asteroids based on the observations of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue (MOC) by using the random forest algorithm. With the training data derived from the taxonomies of Tholen, Bus, Lazzaro, DeMeo, and Principal Component Analysis, we classify 48642 asteroids according to g, r, i, and z SDSS magnitudes. In this way, asteroids are divided into 8 spectral classes (C, X, S, B, D, K, L, and V).

  16. Three-dimensional earthward fast flow in the near-Earth plasma sheet in a sheared field: comparisons between simulations and observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Kondoh

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional configuration of earthward fast flow in the near-Earth plasma sheet is studied using three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD simulations on the basis of the spontaneous fast reconnection model. In this study, the sheared magnetic field in the plasma sheet is newly considered in order to investigate the effects of it to the earthward fast flow, and the results are discussed in comparison with no-shear simulations. The virtual probes located at different positions in our simulation domain in shear/no-shear cases could explain different behavior of fast flows in the real observations.

  17. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baer, James [Private address, 3210 Apache Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241 (United States); Chesley, Steven R., E-mail: jimbaer1@earthlink.net [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2017-08-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia ) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  18. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-08-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  19. Simultaneous Mass Determination for Gravitationally Coupled Asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, James; Chesley, Steven R.

    2017-01-01

    The conventional least-squares asteroid mass determination algorithm allows us to solve for the mass of a large subject asteroid that is perturbing the trajectory of a smaller test asteroid. However, this algorithm is necessarily a first approximation, ignoring the possibility that the subject asteroid may itself be perturbed by the test asteroid, or that the encounter’s precise geometry may be entangled with encounters involving other asteroids. After reviewing the conventional algorithm, we use it to calculate the masses of 30 main-belt asteroids. Compared to our previous results, we find new mass estimates for eight asteroids (11 Parthenope, 27 Euterpe, 51 Neimausa, 76 Freia, 121 Hermione, 324 Bamberga, 476 Hedwig, and 532 Herculina) and significantly more precise estimates for six others (2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 9 Metis, 16 Psyche, and 88 Thisbe). However, we also find that the conventional algorithm yields questionable results in several gravitationally coupled cases. To address such cases, we describe a new algorithm that allows the epoch state vectors of the subject asteroids to be included as solve-for parameters, allowing for the simultaneous solution of the masses and epoch state vectors of multiple subject and test asteroids. We then apply this algorithm to the same 30 main-belt asteroids and conclude that mass determinations resulting from current and future high-precision astrometric sources (such as Gaia ) should conduct a thorough search for possible gravitational couplings and account for their effects.

  20. Binary effectivity rules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keiding, Hans; Peleg, Bezalel

    2006-01-01

    is binary if it is rationalized by an acyclic binary relation. The foregoing result motivates our definition of a binary effectivity rule as the effectivity rule of some binary SCR. A binary SCR is regular if it satisfies unanimity, monotonicity, and independence of infeasible alternatives. A binary...

  1. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

    The Steward Observatory Asteroid Relational Database (SOARD) was created as a flexible tool for undertaking studies of asteroid populations and sub-populations, to probe the biases intrinsic to asteroid databases, to ascertain the completeness of data pertaining to specific problems, to aid in the development of observational programs, and to develop pedagogical materials. To date, SOARD has compiled an extensive list of data available on asteroids and made it accessible through a single menu-driven database program. Users may obtain tailored lists of asteroid properties for any subset of asteroids or output files which are suitable for plotting spectral data on individual asteroids. The program has online help as well as user and programmer documentation manuals. The SOARD already has provided data to fulfill requests by members of the astronomical community. The SOARD continues to grow as data is added to the database and new features are added to the program.

  2. Shape and spin of asteroid 967 Helionape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolovska, G.; Kostov, A.; Donchev, Z.; Bebekovska, E. Vchkova; Kuzmanovska, O.

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of the spin and shape parameters of the asteroids is very important for understanding of the conditions during the creation of our planetary system and formation of asteroid populations. The main belt asteroid and Flora family member 967 Helionape was observed during five apparitions. The observations were made at the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory (BNAO) Rozhen, since March 2006 to March 2016. Lihtcurve inversion method (Kaasalainen et al. (2001)), applied on 12 relative lightcurves obtained at various geometric conditions of the asteroid, reveals the spin vector, the sense of rotation and the preliminary shape model of the asteroid. Our aim is to contribute in increasing the set of asteroids with known spin and shape parameters. This could be done with dense lightcurves, obtained during small number of apparitions, in combination with sparse data produced by photometric asteroid surveys such as the Gaia satellite (Hanush (2011)).

  3. BINARY CANDIDATES IN THE JOVIAN TROJAN AND HILDA POPULATIONS FROM NEOWISE LIGHT CURVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonnett, S.; Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T., E-mail: Sarah.Sonnett@jpl.nasa.gov [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2015-02-01

    Determining the binary fraction for a population of asteroids, particularly as a function of separation between the two components, helps describe the dynamical environment at the time the binaries formed, which in turn offers constraints on the dynamical evolution of the solar system. We searched the NEOWISE archival data set for close and contact binary Trojans and Hildas via their diagnostically large light curve amplitudes. We present 48 out of 554 Hilda and 34 out of 953 Trojan binary candidates in need of follow-up to confirm their large light curve amplitudes and subsequently constrain the binary orbit and component sizes. From these candidates, we calculate a preliminary estimate of the binary fraction without confirmation or debiasing of 14%-23% for Trojans larger than ∼12 km and 30%-51% for Hildas larger than ∼4 km. Once the binary candidates have been confirmed, it should be possible to infer the underlying, debiased binary fraction through estimation of survey biases.

  4. ULF hydromagnetic oscillations with the discrete spectrum as eigenmodes of MHD-resonator in the near-Earth part of the plasma sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Mazur

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available A new concept is proposed for the emergence of ULF geomagnetic oscillations with a discrete spectrum of frequencies (0.8, 1.3, 1.9, 2.6 ...mHz registered in the magnetosphere's midnight-morning sector. The concept relies on the assumption that these oscillations are MHD-resonator eigenmodes in the near-Earth plasma sheet. This magnetospheric area is where conditions are met for fast magnetosonic waves to be confined. The confinement is a result of the velocity values of fast magnetosonic waves in the near-Earth plasma sheet which differ greatly from those in the magnetotail lobes, leading to turning points forming in the tailward direction for the waves under study. To compute the eigenfrequency spectrum of such a resonator, we used a model magnetosphere with parabolic geometry. The fundamental harmonics of this resonator's eigenfrequencies are shown to be capable of being clustered into groups with average frequencies matching, with good accuracy, the frequencies of the observed oscillations. A possible explanation for the stability of the observed oscillation frequencies is that such a resonator might only form when the magnetosphere is in a certain unperturbed state.

  5. ULF hydromagnetic oscillations with the discrete spectrum as eigenmodes of MHD-resonator in the near-Earth part of the plasma sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Mazur

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available A new concept is proposed for the emergence of ULF geomagnetic oscillations with a discrete spectrum of frequencies (0.8, 1.3, 1.9, 2.6 ...mHz registered in the magnetosphere's midnight-morning sector. The concept relies on the assumption that these oscillations are MHD-resonator eigenmodes in the near-Earth plasma sheet. This magnetospheric area is where conditions are met for fast magnetosonic waves to be confined. The confinement is a result of the velocity values of fast magnetosonic waves in the near-Earth plasma sheet which differ greatly from those in the magnetotail lobes, leading to turning points forming in the tailward direction for the waves under study. To compute the eigenfrequency spectrum of such a resonator, we used a model magnetosphere with parabolic geometry. The fundamental harmonics of this resonator's eigenfrequencies are shown to be capable of being clustered into groups with average frequencies matching, with good accuracy, the frequencies of the observed oscillations. A possible explanation for the stability of the observed oscillation frequencies is that such a resonator might only form when the magnetosphere is in a certain unperturbed state.

  6. Hayabusa2 NIRS3’s Investigation to Characterize and Select Sampling and Landing Sites on Asteroid (25143) Ryugu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takir, Driss; Hibbitts, Charles A.; Le Corre, Lucille; Emery, Joshua P.; Kitazato, Kohei; Sugita, Seiji; Nakauchi, Yusuke

    2017-10-01

    Following the visit of the spacecraft Hayabusa to (25143) Itokawa in 2005, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) launched a second spacecraft, Hayabusa2, in 2014 to the near-Earth Apollo asteroid (162173) Ryugu, a C-complex asteroid. Hayabusa2 will arrive at Ryugu in 2018. Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are important objects to study because of their possible role in the delivery of water and complex organic molecules to early Earth, and their threats to impact the Earth at irregular and unpredictable periods in the future. Hayabusa2 mission will provide exceptional science with a primary objective to illuminate the origin, evolution, and distribution of volatiles and organics on the surface of Ryugu and in the Solar System. Here we present our Near Infrared Spectrometer(NIRS3)-related strategy and plan to help the science team to characterize and select sampling and landing sites to collect carbonaceous samples from Ryugu and bring them back to Earth in 2020. Our plan includes, (1) measuring spectra of various carbonaceous chondrites and end-member hydrated silicates under asteroid-like conditions (vacuum and elevated temperatures) to develop spectral parameters of minerals and chemical compounds that we expect to detect on Ryugu, particularly around 2.8 to 3.2 µm, and (2) thermally and photometrically correcting Ryugu’s spectra to create site-specific and global maps of the mineralogical and chemical relative abundances across Ryugu’s surface, in addition to creating various albedo maps, including the geometric and bolometric Bond albedo. Previous 3-µm spectroscopic studies were conducted in ambient terrestrial environments, and hence were contaminated by atmospheric water. In our work, however, chondrite reflectance and hydrated mineral spectra are measured under asteroid-like conditions to remove adsorbed water and accurately compute the spectral parameters that will be used for Ryugu’s mineralogical and chemical mapping.AcknowledgementsWe wish to thank the

  7. Photometry of faint asteroids and satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degewij, J.

    1978-01-01

    The smaller asteroids, having diameters of about 1 km, appear to rotate faster than do the larger asteroids (approximately 200 km diameter). Most of the bodies may be nearly spherical, probably due to a collisional erosion process in the Main Belt of asteroids. The distributions of diameter versus number were studied for low albedo (C, for carbonaceous) and high albedo (S, for silicaceous) type asteroids in the main belt, down to diameters of 25 km. Among the smaller bodies the S type asteroids are relatively more abundant, probably due to greater crushing strength for S type asteroids. This indicates that both optical types have also different properties in the interior of the body. Areas with slightly different reflectivity over the surface of an asteroid were detected; the rotational light variation of asteroid 4 (Vesta) was found to be caused by spots on its surface. Colorimetry and infrared radiometry of some Hilda asteroids, Trojans and the fainter satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, all having diameters between 100 and 200 km, show that a mixture of types exist. If some asteroids are nearly expended nuclei of comets that lost most of their volatile gaseous material, then their cometary activity is expected to be extinct or at least weak. (Auth.)

  8. Asteroids. Prospective energy and material resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Badescu, Viorel (ed.) [Bucharest Polytechnic Univ. (Romania). Candida Oancea Institute

    2013-11-01

    Recent research on Prospective Energy and Material Resources on Asteroids. Carefully edited book dedicated to Asteroids prospective energy and material resources. Written by leading experts in the field. The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power. Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth. Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space. This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions to old problems that could become reality in our life time. The book therefore is a great source of condensed information for specialists involved in current and impending asteroid-related activities and a good starting point for space researchers, inventors, technologists and potential investors. Written for researchers, engineers, and businessmen interested in asteroids' exploration and exploitation.

  9. Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael; Harris, A. W.

    2006-09-01

    We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a target of the planned ESA mission Don Quijote. Unfortunately, little is known about the physical properties of 1989 ML, in particular its size and albedo are unknown. Its exhibits an X type reflection spectrum, so depending on its albedo, 1989 ML may be an E, M, or P type asteroid. Provisional results from thermal-infrared observations carried out with Spitzer indicate that the albedo of 1989 ML is compatible with an M- or E-type classification. We will discuss our results and their implications for the physical properties and the rotation period of 1989 ML, and its importance as a potential spacecraft target. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.

  10. Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics GPU-Acceleration Tool for Asteroid Fragmentation Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buruchenko, Sergey K.; Schäfer, Christoph M.; Maindl, Thomas I.

    2017-10-01

    The impact threat of near-Earth objects (NEOs) is a concern to the global community, as evidenced by the Chelyabinsk event (caused by a 17-m meteorite) in Russia on February 15, 2013 and a near miss by asteroid 2012 DA14 ( 30 m diameter), on the same day. The expected energy, from either a low-altitude air burst or direct impact, would have severe consequences, especially in populated regions. To mitigate this threat one of the methods is employment of large kinetic-energy impactors (KEIs). The simulation of asteroid target fragmentation is a challenging task which demands efficient and accurate numerical methods with large computational power. Modern graphics processing units (GPUs) lead to a major increase 10 times and more in the performance of the computation of astrophysical and high velocity impacts. The paper presents a new implementation of the numerical method smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) using NVIDIA-GPU and the first astrophysical and high velocity application of the new code. The code allows for a tremendous increase in speed of astrophysical simulations with SPH and self-gravity at low costs for new hardware. We have implemented the SPH equations to model gas, liquids and elastic, and plastic solid bodies and added a fragmentation model for brittle materials. Self-gravity may be optionally included in the simulations.

  11. PHYSICAL PARAMETERS OF ASTEROIDS ESTIMATED FROM THE WISE 3-BAND DATA AND NEOWISE POST-CRYOGENIC SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Cutri, R. M. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); McMillan, R. S. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Nugent, C. R. [Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Tholen, D. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Walker, R. [Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, Monterey, CA 93933 (United States); Wright, E. L., E-mail: amainzer@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States)

    2012-11-20

    Enhancements to the science data processing pipeline of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, collectively known as NEOWISE, resulted in the detection of >158,000 minor planets in four infrared wavelengths during the fully cryogenic portion of the mission. Following the depletion of its cryogen, NASA's Planetary Science Directorate funded a four-month extension to complete the survey of the inner edge of the Main Asteroid Belt and to detect and discover near-Earth objects (NEOs). This extended survey phase, known as the NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Survey, resulted in the detection of {approx}6500 large Main Belt asteroids and 86 NEOs in its 3.4 and 4.6 {mu}m channels. During the Post-Cryogenic Survey, NEOWISE discovered and detected a number of asteroids co-orbital with the Earth and Mars, including the first known Earth Trojan. We present preliminary thermal fits for these and other NEOs detected during the 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-Cryogenic Surveys.

  12. Colorimetry and magnitudes of asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowell, E.; Lumme, K.

    1979-01-01

    In the present paper, 1500 UBV observations are analyzed by a new rather general multiple scattering theory which provided clear insight into previously poorly-recognized optical nature of asteroid surfaces. Thus, phase curves are shown to consist of a surface-texture controlled component, due to singly scattered light, and a component due to multiple scattering. Phase curve shapes can be characterized by a single parameter, the multiple scattering factor, Q. As Q increases, the relative importance of the opposition effect diminishes. Asteroid surfaces are particulate and strikingly similar to texture, being moderately porous and moderately rough on a scale greater than the wavelength of light. In concequence, Q (and also the phase coefficient) correlate well with geometric albedo, and there exists a purely photometric means of determining albedos and diameters.

  13. Asteroids prospective energy and material resources

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    The Earth has limited material and energy resources while these resources in space are virtually unlimited. Further development of humanity will require going beyond our planet and exploring of extraterrestrial resources and sources of unlimited power.   Thus far, all missions to asteroids have been motivated by scientific exploration. However, given recent advancements in various space technologies, mining asteroids for resources is becoming ever more feasible. A significant portion of asteroids value is derived from their location; the required resources do not need to be lifted at a great expense from the surface of the Earth.   Resources derived from Asteroid not only can be brought back to Earth but could also be used to sustain human exploration of space and permanent settlements in space.   This book investigates asteroids' prospective energy and material resources. It is a collection of topics related to asteroid exploration, and utilization. It presents past and future technologies and solutions t...

  14. Physical studies of asteroids. XXXII. Rotation periods and UBVRI-colours for selected asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piironen, J.; Lagerkvist, C.-I.; Erikson, A.; Oja, T.; Magnusson, P.; Festin, L.; Nathues, A.; Gaul, M.; Velichko, F.

    1998-03-01

    We present lightcurves of selected asteroids. Most of the asteroids were included to obtain refined spin periods. Enhanced periods were determined for 11 Parthenope, 306 Unitas and 372 Palma. We confirmed the spin periods of 8 Flora, 13 Egeria, 71 Niobe, 233 Asterope, 291 Alice, 409 Aspasia, 435 Ella and 512 Taurinensis. We determined also BV-colours for most of the included asteroids and UBVRI-colours for a total of 22 asteroids.

  15. Asteroid families, dynamics and astrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.G.; Gibson, J.

    1987-01-01

    The proper elements and family assignments for the 1227 Palomar-Leiden Survey asteroids of high quality were tabulated. In addition to the large table, there are also auxiliary tables of Mars crossers and commensurate objects, histograms of the proper element distributions, and a discussion. Probably the most important part of the discussion describes the Mars crossing boundary, how the closest distances of approach to Mars and Jupiter are calculated, and why the observed population of Mars crossers should bombard that planet episodically rather than uniformly. Analytical work was done to derive velocity distributions of family forming events from proper element distributions subject to assumptions which may be appropriate for cratering events. Software was developed for a microcomputer to permit plotting of the proper elements. Three orthogonal views are generated and stereo pairs can be printed when desired. This program was created for the study of asteroid families. The astrometry task is directed toward measuring and reducing positions on faint comets and the minor planets with less common orbits. The observational material is CCD frames taken with the Palomar 1.5 m telescope. Positions of 10 comets and 16 different asteroids were published on the Minor Planet Circulars

  16. Storyboard GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid encounters

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    Storyboard with mosaicked image of an asteroid and entitled GALILEO CRUISE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES describes asteroid objectives. These objectives include: first asteroid encounter; surface geology, composition size, shape, mass; and relation of primitive bodies to meteorites.